On May 20, 2011, the Province of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University launched a process to merge Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) with Dalhousie University. After nine months of discussions and negotiations, an agreement in principle was announced on March 23, 2012. Legislation was introduced into the Nova Scotia legislature on May 8 and proclaimed on May 31, with the merger agreement confirmed on June 1. The merger itself will be effective September 1, 2012.
The merger is intended to:
- build a national centre of excellence for research and innovation in agriculture, agri-food, and bio-resources
- give students at both institutions a broader choice of programs
- strengthen the schools’ ability to compete nationally and internationally for research funding and student recruitment
Dalhousie is a welcome partner for NSAC. The two schools have had a close academic relationship for many years. NSAC degrees are jointly awarded by Dalhousie, NSAC is represented on the Dalhousie Senate and there are many ongoing research collaborations between faculty at both institutions.
- On May 8, the legislation for the merger was introduced in the Nova Scotia legislature to formalize the planned merger. It was proclaimed on May 31.
- The merger agreement has been finalized, effective June 1.
- It was agreed on June 1 that NSAC would be known as the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture, with the campus being called the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, or Dal-AC.
- An Executive Transition Steering Group consisting of leaders from both schools has been established and will report to Dalhousie President Tom Traves and Deputy Minister Paul LaFleche. We’ll be sharing regular updates from this group on our Transition page.
- On May 1, Harold Cook began his tenure as interim Dean of Agriculture and Campus Principal at NSAC.
The first phase of the merger discussion, through 2011, was a discovery process focused on exchanging information, understanding each institution’s processes and practices, and identifying both issues and opportunities related to a merger. During this phase, merger principles and objectives were established.
The project entered its negotiation phase in January 2012, culminating in an agreement in principle March 23. The negotiating teams were led by Susan Spence Wach (associate vice-president academic, Dalhousie) for Dalhousie and Rod Burgar (president and CEO of Accelerator Inc.) for the government. Legislation was introduced into the Nova Scotia legislature on May 8 and proclaimed on May 31.
A full transition process will now begin. While some aspects of the merger will take place quickly, it will likely take several years before all elements of a transition would be complete.