Friday, March 9, 2018
The University of New Hampshire's Thompson Hall at dusk

Dear Members of the University Community,
We are writing to let you know about some exciting changes that will transform the Thompson School of Applied Science. We will refocus the Thompson School on the university’s core agricultural mission and work with UNH Professional Development and Training to incorporate a state-of-the-art, job ready, professional development and training academy.
With a 125-year history of educating students in two-year degree programs to work within agricultural, and more recently culinary, forestry, companion animal, and civil technology sectors in New Hampshire and beyond, the work the Thompson School does to prepare and build the state’s workforce is needed and valued. However, after assessing programs and talking to stakeholders, we realized that we needed to refresh our approach in order to ensure that we stay relevant and competitive. We are refocusing the two-year degree programs on the agriculture and forestry sectors and providing more opportunities for stakeholders with increased professional development and training offerings. We believe that these changes will allow us to continue to provide our students with high-quality academic programs while remaining relevant and responsive to the evolving workforce needs of the state and the rapidly changing face of higher education.
These changes come after four years of strategic planning and review. Over the next 12-14 months we will integrate more strongly into the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture the three associate degree programs that best align with the college’s mission and are integral to the state’s agricultural and forest management sectors, and phase out the remaining four. Please know that nothing will change for current Thompson School students; we will ensure they have access to the same high-quality education and resources until they graduate in 2019.
While this is an exciting time as we work to reimagine the school, change does have its challenges. And, although there will be no change to faculty and staff for the next 12 to 14 months, we will begin working together immediately with our Thompson School colleagues to discuss potential opportunities for those faculty and staff who may be impacted in May 2019. You can learn more at

Nancy Targett

Jon Wraith
Dean, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture