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International Textile Center merges into PSS

Effective December 1, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved the merger of the International Textile Center into the Department of Plant and Soil Science.

Both units, housed within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, have well-established reputations in their respective disciplines, including cotton-related research, education, and outreach. The resulting combination in one department of expertise in cotton genetics/genomics, cotton production, and fiber and textile quality evaluation and processing will be unique among U.S. universities.

“The move of the International Textile Center into the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 1998 was done for strategic reasons,” said M. Dean Ethridge, managing director of Texas Tech University’s International Textile Center. “So it is for this merger with the Department of Plant and Soil Science.  I believe that joining with the Department will maximize the synergies available to us; that both the Department and the Center will be strengthened and the mission of the College will be better served.”

The objectives for the merger are to 1) increase the performance and external support of both units, 2) enhance existing synergy between the units to increase total research funding, expand the research mission, and foster efficient use of physical plants; 3) increase enrollment in graduate programs within the department, and 4) develop Plant and Soil Science as the pre-eminent department in the U.S. for research and teaching on cotton genetics/genomics, production, and processing.

The International Textile Center will retain its name and location on East Loop 289, and its operations will continue to be led by the Managing Director, Dr. Dean Ethridge. The enlarged Department of Plant and Soil Science will house 29 faculty, 53 staff and research associates, and 65 graduate students. During 2006, the two units generated $5.8 million in extramural funding.

 

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