History of International Programs

The Office of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (IP-CALS) traces its roots to a project in Nanjing, China in the 1920s involving Professors John Lossing Buck of the Agricultural Economics Department and Harry Houser Love of the Plant Breeding Department. The motivation to establish the International Programs office came during the 1950s at the height of a major project to revive the College of Agriculture of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos following the devastation of World War II. The office was established in 1962 as a Division of International Agricultural Development with Professor Kenneth Turk of Animal Science becoming the first Director in 1963. He served as an officer of the College along with the Directors of Teaching, Research and Extension, and the so-called Division evolved into a 4th dimension of the College along with the three other functions. Shortly after the office was established the then Governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller, added nine new faculty lines to the college, in various disciplinary departments, to be known as International Professors.

The next landmark came in the late 1980s when the University received a major gift to establish the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture, and Development (CIIFAD), a university-wide institute that operated jointly with IP-CALS, sharing a Director, until 2002. At that time, IP-CALS was reestablished as a distinct entity, but the Director was no longer an officer of the college, and the "4th dimension" status was discontinued, an arrangement that continues today. At the same time, through the development of an IP-CALS Charter, the title of International Professor became more inclusive and today numbers 69 faculty members who pursue international activities throughout the world. CIIFAD is operated as a separate, university-wide institute, under the direction of a CALS International Professor and has a complementary working relationship with IP-CALS.