Skip to main content Skip to navigation

WSU Changes College Name

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Board of Regents Friday changed the name of the university’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics to the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

The acronym for the new college name is CAHNRS, pronounced “conners.”

“The new college name ends an eight-year-long effort to rename the College of Agriculture and Home Economics,” said Interim Dean R. James Cook.

The name change takes effect immediately, but Cook said the college will continue using stationery with the old name until supplies are exhausted.

The college name has included home economics since the colleges of agriculture and home economics were merged in 1982.

Cook said the name change was necessary to update the college’s image. Home economics has been a discipline at WSU for 100 years. But the nature of the field has changed dramatically and the term home economics no longer describes well the field of study.

The change has been a national one.

“When we submitted the proposed name change, WSU was one of only two major universities with a college of agriculture still using the name of home economics,” said Cook.

“The name change reflects the fact that home economics has grown into the field known today as human sciences, now one of the fastest- growing areas in teaching, research and outreach in the United States.

“Moreover, the departments in CAHNRS that represent the human sciences part of our mission are attracting and graduating more students than either the agricultural or natural resources programs in this college, and I’m delighted that human sciences is now part of our name.”

Cook also said, ‘Faculty also felt a need to reflect natural resources disciplines in the college name, so we took out home economics and added human and natural resource sciences.

“This more accurately reflects the nature of our modern institution,” Cook said.

– 30 –

History of College Name Changes

1892–Organized as the Washington Agricultural College, Experiment Station, and School of Science.

1893–The Department of Agriculture was organized.

1903–The Domestic Economy Department was created.

1917–Agriculture and Home Economics were elevated to the status of separate colleges.

1982–Agriculture and Home Economics were merged into the College of Agriculture and Home Economics.

2003–Named the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Media Contacts