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Riverside: Colleges and Schools

College of Agriculture
College of Letters and Science

College of Agriculture
In 1960, the Regents authorized the establishment of a College of Agriculture on the Riverside campus. Alfred M. Boyce was appointed dean and in 1964, Glen H. Cannell became assistant dean. Opportunity was afforded to develop a unique curriculum which would provide modern training in agricultural sciences with special emphasis on the plant sciences. Instruction began in 1961 under a single curriculum, that featured a broad general education, with adequate requirements in the humanities and social sciences and a solid training in the basic biological and physical sciences. Students elected fields of interest from agricultural science, nematology, plant pathology, soil science, and vegetable crops. Specialization began at the M.S. degree level for those who planned careers in agricultural production and service and the doctorate program prepared students for continuation in research.

The new undergraduate program made it feasible to enlarge the former limited graduate program initiated at the time of the expansion and relocation of the small Citrus Experiment Station and the addition of a Graduate School of Tropical Agriculture in 1913. Herbert J. Webber was then director and dean. Operations began at the present campus site in 1917, with formal dedication in March, 1918. Relatively few students were attracted because only those who had completed virtually all course requirements on another campus could come here for dissertation research. While this graduate school was discontinued in 1939, students continued thesis research here through the graduate division at Berkeley or Los Angeles.

Undergraduate instruction in subtropical horticulture was offered at Riverside in highly successful summer sessions from 1924 through 1932. These sessions were directed by Robert W. Hodgson, chairman, Department of Subtropical Horticulture at Berkeley. The faculty was comprised of staff members from Berkeley and the Citrus Experiment Station. With the initiation of instruction in agriculture at Los Angeles in 1933, these sessions were terminated.

By the mid-1960's, instruction leading to the B.S. degree was provided by staff members of the Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station (formerly Citrus Experiment Station).

The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees were offered in biochemistry, entomology (including biological control), plant pathology, plant science, and soil science. When this program began in 1961, there were 30 students; by 1968 there were 187. source

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College of Letters and Science
When creation of the college was authorized by the Regents in 1948, it was planned as a model liberal arts college with facilities for a maximum of 1,500 undergraduates. Implementation of this design was begun in 1951. Gordon S. Watkins was appointed as provost (1949-56) and Robert A. Nisbet was named dean of the college (1953-63). A divisional organization was adopted and curricula and buildings were designed for undergraduate work in the humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. John W. Olmsted, Herman T. Spieth, W. Conway Pierce, and Arthur C. Turner were named chairmen of these divisions. Nisbet was succeeded as dean by Thomas P. Jenkin (1963-65) and by Carlo L. Golino (beginning in 1965).

Undergraduates were first admitted in February, 1954 and the first four-year class was graduated in February, 1958. The college aroused widespread interest and its academic program achieved an early success, among the indices of which have been accreditation by the Western College Association (1956) and the authorization of chapters of Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa.

The college enrollment exceeded 1,200 in 1959, when, during the administration of Chancellor Herman T. Spieth, the Regents decided that Riverside would become a general campus of the University. This decision resulted in a series of organic changes in the college. A Graduate Division was established in 1960 and at this time the faculty of the college became responsible for the development of appropriate graduate programs.

By 1964, graduate students formed more than a fifth of the letters and science student body. A departmental organization was introduced which came into full effect in 1963. At that time the college had 20 departments; in 1965, separate Departments of French and Italian, of German and Russian, and of Spanish also were formed. Additionally, interdepartmental curricula were instituted.

Along with the graduate programs, foundations were laid for research organizations. These changes resulted in transitional difficulties since library, physical plant, and faculty had been intended only for undergraduate instruction. Thus, not until 1965 was the first college building designed for the new roles occupied. The college accepted the new functions as augmentations which need to be developed in ways consistent with its original commitment to academic excellence through an integrated liberal arts program leading to the baccalaureate degree. source

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