Montana State Cuts Neuroscience Department

May 16, 2019

Montana State University said Wednesday that it is transferring its cell biology and neuroscience programs to the department of microbiology and immunology, confirming the suspicions of neuroscience professors who say their department has been targeted by administrators who don’t value their research programs. Provost Robert L. Mokwa said in an email to the campus that the faculty in both departments “have the opportunity over the next months to work together and develop a robust administrative and management structure that will provide needed stability and long-term viability to the undergraduate academic program and will provide opportunities to revitalize graduate education and research in the field.”

James Mazer, director of the doctoral program in neuroscience, said that Mokwa’s announcement continued to cite misleading statistics about the department’s performance and plans for the future. “The steady increase in student-faculty ratios due to irresponsible growth of the student population here has made it harder and hard for students to get the training and research they came here for,” he said, noting that the department has fewer professors now than it did when it was formed in 2004. “The real problem here is that [the department] has been a high-performing department for many years, training successful students and doing important, effective neuroscience research.”

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