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Department of Animal Sciences


Twenty Years of Combined Animal Sciences!

July 14, 2014

Twenty years ago, animal sciences at The Ohio State University joined once again under one unit. The Board of Trustees approved reorganization of the College of Agriculture at its June 3, 1994, meeting, which included among other changes combining the departments of Animal Science, Dairy Science, and Poultry Science into a single department: Animal Sciences. In November 1993, The Lantern did an article about the college restructuring. Read the article at this link. An excerpt from the Trustees' Report to the Campus is also included at this link. According to Dr. Bobby Moser, dean of the College of Agriculture at the time of the reorganization, "The driving force behind this plan is enhancing our ability to attract and adequately serve students, to better meet the needs of our external clients and to position the college to flourish in the years ahead." (Trustees' Report to the Campus", Ohio State Lantern, June 23, 1994)

The new department came under the leadership of Dr. David L. Zartman, who served as chair of the Department of Animal Sciences from 1994 to 1999. At the time of restructuring, he was chair of the Department of Dairy Science, Dr. Forest V. Muir was chair of the Department of Poultry Science, and Dr. Glen H. Schmidt was chair of the Department of Animal Science. Dr. Muir was appointed associate chair to be located in Wooster. A department timeline is available at this link. In an interesting twist, poultry and dairy spun off from the original Animal Husbandry Department (formed in 1902) in 1920 and 1947, respectively, culminating in the units named Departments of Animal, Poultry, and Dairy Science by 1952. Forty-two years later, they were again one unit.

According to a brief history by Dr. Zartman, the new department began with 31 regular faculty and with 420 undergraduate and 55 graduate students that first year. At the time of the merger, faculty and staff in Columbus were located in four buildings: Vivian Hall, Dakan Hall, Plumb Hall, and Animal Science. Vivian Hall was surrendered to a service unit in Agricultural Communications, but laboratories were retained. Dakan Hall was vacated. Faculty were either relocated to Plumb Hall and Animal Science building or to Wooster. Vivian and Dakan Halls have since been demolished.

In July of the same year, the College of Agriculture became the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, as approved by the Board of Trustees at the July 8, 1994, meeting. (Board of Trustrees minutes (pdf), Lantern article, July 11, 1994 (pdf))

Learn more about Ohio State Animal Sciences history, including a timeline of leadership, the Animal Science Hall of Fame, Dairy Science Hall of Service, and judging teams in the History pages of the department web site.