Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 89

Recommendation 89
Department Biological Sciences
Consensus Opinion 36 out of 38 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation Recommendation 89. Biotechnology. Stable funding.

Recommendation 89 calls for stable funding of the Biotechnology major. The members of the Biological Sciences Department support the recommendation to continue this very successful program but also feel strongly that funding to this program should be enhanced.

Arguments in favor of enhanced funding for the Biotechnology major:

• The number of biotechnology majors grew by 33% in the past year and all indications are that this trend will continue as the biotechnology industry, including pharmaceutical, stem cell and biofuel companies, grows throughout the nation, especially in California. Given the increasing number of majors, it will not be possible to continue to offer the courses in the biotechnology curriculum in a timely fashion without additional funding.
• The cost of supplies for the laboratory-intensive classes that are the cornerstone of this program continues to increase.
• Additional faculty with the appropriate skills and biotechnology industry experience will need to be hired to teach the specialized classes that are required to maintain the program and keep it current.
• Cal Poly Pomona was the first and remains the only campus of the CSU that has a true interdisciplinary undergraduate biotechnology B.S. degree. This degree is widely recognized within the CSU and across the nation as one of the best undergraduate degrees in biotechnology.
• Biotechnology is an existing model of cross-disciplinary programs that the P & R Committee is promoting. It integrates chemistry and biology as well as business and agriculture. It covers disciplines under four of the six common themes identified by the P & R Committee, i.e., Environmental Concerns (biofuel and bioremediation), Business/Marketing (biotech business cluster), Life Science, and Information Technology (bioinformatics). A program with such dynamic fields and continued success (in student numbers as well as academic and industry recognition) should be considered a priority.
• Cal Poly Pomona has been one of the most successful of all CSU campuses in obtaining grants from CSUPERB (California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology). This has led to expanded learning opportunities both in the classroom and in the research laboratory. At the annual CSUPERB scientific meeting, often featuring Nobel-prize winning keynote speakers and other speakers of very strong public policy influence, Cal Poly Pomona students and faculty dominate in terms of past awards won and in numbers of research posters. With increasing costs, enhanced funding is essential to maintain our high profile.
• The Biotechnology major is one of only a few programs that requires internship experiences for graduation. While our students are gaining real-work experiences, the sponsored industry companies also benefit from the workforce and academic training we provide. The active involvement of our biotech students with surrounding industrial partners has exemplified the learning-centered mission of the University and supported the university goal "to increase community involvement" (P & R report, p.5). To sustain and advance the internship and outreach programs, an increase of funding is required to provide staffing and faculty time for student advising and industry networking.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendations not submitted through the forms are available in this folder. They mainly consist of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat documents. If none were submitted for this recommendation, the folder will be empty.