Nova Scotia Agricultural College Begins Merger Discussions

Agriculture

May 20, 2011 12:19 PM

The province is pursuing a new partnership to position the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) as a national centre of excellence for applied research and innovation in agriculture.

John MacDonell, Minister of Agriculture said today, May 20, that the province will begin formal discussions on a merger with Dalhousie University. Dalhousie is already linked with NSAC as it grants degrees for NSAC and has NSAC representatives on its senate.

"A stronger partnership between these two institutions will ensure that NSAC can compete with similar institutions in larger centres, and excel on the national and international stage," said Mr. MacDonell.

"This will grow and expand the presence of NSAC in Truro and Bible Hill, keeping and creating good jobs and growing the economy in rural Nova Scotia. This move is vital to maintaining and expanding jobs in Nova Scotia's agriculture and agri-food sector."

Both Mr. MacDonell and Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More spent the day in Truro and Bible Hill, sharing the news with students, staff, and community leaders.

"Dalhousie and NSAC's academic programs are already closely linked. This partnership will strengthen those existing ties and offer exciting potential to build and enhance programs at both campuses," said Ms. More.

"A merger between Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Agricultural College, building on existing relationships between the two institutions, would go a long way toward creating new opportunities for innovation and interdiscipliary learning," said Tom Traves, president of Dalhousie University.

"Students would benefit from shared expertise and learning opportunities and industry would benefit from the knowledge and expertise that graduates bring with them, making Nova Scotia more competitive around the world."

"We are pleased the province is proceeding with plans to position the NSAC for continued success in the future," said Bob MacKay, chair of the NSAC transitional board. "There are great opportunities here for both Dalhousie and NSAC."

Another goal of this merger will be to ensure benefits for the Annapolis Valley and Cumberland County regions of the province. It is an opportunity for Dalhousie and NSAC to partner with Acadia University to capitalize on the use of Kentville Agricultural Research Station, and there is potential for positive spin-offs at the Nappan Agricultural Research Station.

The Nova Scotia Agricultural College was founded in 1905, providing Atlantic Canada's only specialized, advanced programs in agricultural science. It employs about 300 faculty and staff and has enrollment of about 1,000 students a year. Its budget for 2011-12 is $30 million dollars.

Details of the negotiation process will be determined between the two institutions and the province. It is expected to take about 12 months to complete.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province announced today (May 20th) it is pursuing a

new partnership to position the Nova Scotia Agricultural College

as a national centre of excellence for applied research and

innovation in agriculture.

     Agriculture Minister John MacDonell says the province will

begin formal discussions on a merger between the college and

Dalhousie University.

     He says a stronger partnership between these two

institutions will ensure that the Nova Scotia Agricultural

College can compete with similar institutions in larger centres,

and excel on the national stage.

     The Nova Scotia Agricultural College was founded in 1905

and is the only university in Atlantic Canada specializing in

agricultural science. The merger is expected to take at least 12

months to complete.

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Media Contacts: Celeste Sulliman
                Agriculture
                902-424-0192
                Cell: 902-237-9594
                E-mail: sullimcc@gov.ns.ca

                Charles Crosby
                Dalhousie University
                902-494-1269
                E-mail: charles.crosby@dal.ca