A Message from Dean Shane Burgess, Winter 2023

Jan. 23, 2023
Dean Shane Burgess sits at the bottom of a metal staircase in the ENR2 building on the University of Arizona main campus

Dear CALES alumni and friends,

I would like to thank each of you for supporting the mission of our college in 2022 and to congratulate our December graduates again. I appreciate what you did for our students as alums, friends, mentors, and especially family members to support them on their journey toward their degrees.

Last year we inaugurated the newest academic evolution of the John and Doris Norton School of Human Ecology. This honors the school’s proud history while also recognizing its growth and profile as a national and world leader in family studies, financial wellness, retail innovation, and fashion and global business.

The School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness, with the UArizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, launched the new culinary medicine initiative, which blends the art and science of cooking with those of medicine to use food to prevent, mitigate and manage chronic illness.

We played a key role in the pragmatic water research and Extension in Arizona and the Southwest, leading to the University of Arizona’s No. 2 ranking in the U.S. in Water Resources by U.S. News & World Report.

We maintained our leadership in rangeland, watershed and other natural resource conservation and use, exemplified in our partnership with the UA College of Engineering and Bridgestone Corporation to create a pathway to guayule as commercial crop.

Student success is always at the forefront of all that we do, and so I am incredibly proud that CALES’ collaboration with the SALT Center, which was made possible by an alum’s generous gift, has seen high participation, and is enabling our CALES students who learn differently to reach their academic goals.

A special congratulations to CALES 2022 honorary Ph.D. recipient Dr. Barbara Page, a longtime leader and partner with CALES’ own Dr. Kevin Fitsimmons, in literally saving our oceans.

I truly appreciate your dedication as CALES alums and friends, whether it is through volunteering, mentoring, gifts to support our students, and your advocacy, which was decisive to the state legislature supporting vital mission areas in our enterprise.

The support for 2022 and beyond will benefit the Cooperative Extension System ($7.35 million annually for three years); new state general fund line items for the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory ($2.5 million annually plus $2.5 million lump sum); our Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center ($1 million annually plus $500,000 lump sum); Food Product and Food Safety Laboratory renovation, new animal phenotyping facility, and our partnership with the private sector for food innovation and entrepreneurship in food and tourism in the Verde Valley ($30 million); the Water Irrigation Grant ($30 million), as well as support for the UA’s New Economy Initiative in general.   

Wishing you a prosperous New Year and looking forward to seeing you this year.

Shane C. Burgess

Vice President for the Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension and Charles-Sander Dean of the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences