St. Paul campus has own charms

Joe Carlson

The occasional smell of manure on the St. Paul campus is, to some faculty members, preferable to the more common odor of automobile exhaust in Minneapolis.
Yet some students who attend the University never experience the St. Paul campus’ smaller, less urban atmosphere.
The St. Paul campus, which, despite its name, is located in Falcon Heights, occupies 700 acres and is the location of five University colleges and the Minnesota Extension Service.
The College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, which is based in the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Building, is one of the oldest colleges in the University, Associate Dean Laurie Hayes said.
“This college is part of the original land grant of the University,” Hayes said.
The college had more than 900 students last year in 10 interdisciplinary majors. “Our students have classes … in everything from education to communication to science.”
The College of Biological Sciences, in contrast, is one of the newer colleges at the University, created in 1965 from a number of departments from other colleges. It operates in Snyder Hall.
Today, four diverse departments exist within the college, the college’s Assistant Dean Kathryn Hanna said, which study “everything from molecular biology to lions in Africa.”
The college offers six majors to its approximately 500 students, ranging from genetics and cell biology to ecology, evolution, and behavior.
“We have the option of getting a little more specialized bachelor’s degree,” Hanna said.
The College of Human Ecology, which is based in McNeal Hall, is divided into five departments, including Food Science and Nutrition and the School of Social Work.
About 850 undergraduates were enrolled in 1995, working with about 75 faculty members.
The College of Natural Resources, located inside the Natural Resources Administration Building, has “been around for a long time, under a number of different names,” Coordinator of Communications Martin Moen said.
The college offers five major programs. “The college’s biggest program in terms of enrollment is Natural Resources and Environmental Studies,” with more than half of the college’s students alone.
Three departments make up the college: Fisheries and Wildlife, Forest Products, and Forest Resources.
The College of Veterinary Medicine, which is based in the Veterinary Science Building, was formed in 1947.
Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Micky Trent said that the three main functions of the college “are to train veterinary students for entry into the field … (provide) advanced training for veterinarians … and to provide care to large and small animals.”
“We take in 76 (students) per class,” Trent said. Last year, the department received “over 1,000 applicants for the 76 spaces.”
Along with the five colleges, St. Paul is home to the Minnesota Extension Service.
“The role of extension is to expand the University out into the community,” and put the knowledge and resources of the University to work, Extension Editor Joe Kurtz said.
“There’s an extension office in each county” in Minnesota, Kurtz said, “the idea is that the people of the state (such as University faculty members) are a resource to the people at the county level.”
These colleges and programs define the unique atmosphere that is the St. Paul campus. “It’s visually very attractive,” Kurtz said.
“It’s obvious that there’s a lot of effort that goes into how the campus looks,” Kurtz said.
“One thing I like about the campus is the little woods between the Student Center and McNeal Hall,” Hanna said.
The St. Paul campus is “a little bit slower-paced,” Trent said, “and more rural — we’ve got barns and silos here.”
In fact, “depending on the direction of the wind, you are aware that there are animals here,” Kurtz said.
“We aren’t all concrete here,” Hayes said, “come visit us and see.”