Record Enrollment at UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Really Rocks!

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

 

Helene Dillard, dean, UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, is pleased with the big numbers of students attending the top-ranking College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Helene Dillard, dean, UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Helene Dillard, dean, UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

“It’s really rocking,” said Dillard. “We’re doing very, very well. We have one of the largest numbers of incoming students ever in the entire university. Our College has peaked out its 7,300 undergraduates. We’ve never had that many at one time.”

Why the increased interest in studying agriculture? Dillard said, “We think what’s moving that needle is that everyone is interested in food. They are interested in agriculture.  And they are really interested in that intersection between agriculture and the environment. We have a record number of students that just cannot wait to come on board. We are really thrilled with how smart they are and how eager they are to learn.”

Among the many courses offered by the College, Dillard said Animal Science classes are probably among the most popular. “But of course, beer classes and the coffee class are really popular too. But right now, I’m seeing tremendous interest in agricultural economics and in animal science, to become veterinarians and ranchers, plus specific academic interest in poultry and sheep.”

“Again, those are all things that UC Davis does, so we’re really excited. We’re also seeing a lot of interest in plant sciences, more on that sustainable and food systems and our viticulture and enology program’s growing as well.


Recent Graduate Program Rankings for UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and related disciplines include:
  • 1st in agricultural sciences (Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2011) 
  • 2nd in agriculture and forestry (QS World University Rankings 2016)
  • 2nd in agriculture worldwide (U.S. News & World Report’s “2016 Best Global Universities”)
  • 1st in ecology and the environment (Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2011) 
  • 1st in food science and nutrition (Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2010)
  • 1st in plant science (U.S. News & World Report’s “2016 Best Global Universities”)
  • 1st in animal science (U.S. News & World Report’s “2016 Best Global Universities”)
  • 1st for veterinary science (QS World University Rankings 2016)
  • 1st among the nation’s veterinary schools (U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” 2016)
  • Between 1st and 15th among 44 programs in nutritional biology (National Research Council 2010)
  • 4th in environment/ecology (U.S. News & World Report’s “2016 Best Global Universities”)
  • Between 1st and 7th in Entomology among 28 programs (National Research Council 2010)
  • Between 5th and 29th among 116 programs in plant biology (National Research Council 2010) 
  • Between 7th and 42th among 116 programs in plant pathology (National Research Council 2010)
  • 13th in environmental engineering worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2016)
  • 29th in environmental engineering worldwide (2016 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, ShanghaiRankings)

(Source:  University of California, Davis, Graduate academic program rankings.)


UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Helene Dillard Hits Stride as Dean of UC Davis College of Ag  

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Cal Ag Today Reporter

Dr. Helene Dillard, the new dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis appointed this past January 2014, commented at the  Produce Marketing Association Annual Meeting last month in Anaheim, that she has very well-defined goals for the students in her department.“One of my goals is to make sure that we are giving our students the very best education that we can possibly give them, and also to help them see envision new career paths,” Dillard. “So many of our students arrive and are not sure what they want to do, but they know that they are interested in food and agriculture.”

Helene Dillard, dean of University of California, Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Helene Dillard, dean of University of California, Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Dillard noted that when she left high school, she knew that she wanted to be a scientist, but she had no idea that she would one day become a plant pathologist, working on fungal diseases on lettuce. “We have more than 30 majors in our college, which gives our students so many opportunities,” she said.

“I also want to help our students realize just how big California agriculture is,” said Dillard. “It’s important that they know the breath and depth of the state’s ag industry and help them to appreciate this $45 billion industry,” she said.

Dillard is also interested in internships for students. “I want to make sure our students get their toes in the water for potential jobs and see the high technology involved in  agriculture–that it’s not just about shovels,” she said.

She said students get a lot of hands-on experience at the university, with more than 3,000 acres of farmland for students to work with. “It’s different when you do some experiments on the university farm, versus going out in the real world and do it on a bigger scale. So the goal is to get them to practice on the university farm and then get out to a farm for an internship.

Dillard said another exciting thing about UC Davis is that the university is at a stage where it is hiring a lot of new people. “We currently have 15 active searches for new faculty, which is really exciting as these people come from all over the world,” she said.