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Presentation to Educational Policy Committee Department of Biology Revised March, 2013 Biology Department: Position Requests.

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1 Presentation to Educational Policy Committee Department of Biology Revised March, 2013 Biology Department: Position Requests

2 Biology Faculty identified the following positions as priorities, in ranked order. 1)Our top priority at this time is to hire a human physiologist. 2) Bioinformatics is the next area where the department should grow. Position Requests Biology

3 1)Why does the Biology Department need more faculty? 2)What is Bioinformatics? 3)How will a bioinformatician help students, the Department, and the University? Position Requests Biology

4 Position Requests Biology Why does the Biology Department need more faculty? – One faculty member who has switched to full-time administration – Growth in majors and credit hour production – Reassigned time – service and research – reduces faculty available to teach courses – Challenging to find replacements for faculty on sabbatical or with released time awards With 15 faculty who can each apply for a sabbatical every seven years, this is a continuing issue – Advising load is high – Additional faculty are needed to mentor students engaged in undergraduate and graduate research

5 Background: Faculty reassignments—reduce capability to deliver needed classes. – Rob Winn—1/2 load as Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, changing to full time administration W2013 – Brent Graves—Scheduled for 2/3 AAUP service – Erich Ottem—1/2 reduction associated with NIH grant – Jill Leonard – 4 hours load reduction associated with NSF grant – Additional faculty have received sabbatical or reassigned time awards (RTAs) 2012-2013: 1 sabbatical, 2 RTAs 2011-2012: 1 sabbatical Position Requests Biology

6 Background: Biology majors Increased from 501 to 725 (F2006-F2012) – 45% increase – Related majors have also grown Student Credit Hours Increased from 5500 to 8055 (F2006-F2012) – 46% increase – Particularly large increase for 100 & 200 level classes – Continuing challenges in: » growth of class sizes » offering classes in a timely fashion During the same period, NMU FTE enrollment dropped from 8317 to 8079 (3% decrease)

7 Fall Major/Minor Counts for Biology and Related Programs Major Fall 2006Fall 2012Increase/Decrease Biology 501724+ 223 Pre-Chiropractic 06+ 6 Pre-Dental 2317-6 Pre-Med 10893-15 Pre-Physician Assist 012+12 Nursing 589609+20 Clinical Lab Science 204447+243 Total +463

8 Biology Credit Hour Production by Level

9 Need for additional faculty: Enrollment growth has created high advising loads – Average >40 advisees/faculty in Biology – Overall University average is 21 advisees In addition to high advising loads, faculty have high mentoring loads for undergraduate and graduate research. Position Requests Biology

10 Need for expertise in human physiology Dr. Winn has taught: – BI 201 Human Anatomy – BI 202 Human Physiology – BI 225 Physiology of Aging – BI 327 Animal Physiology – BI 405 Immunology – BI 425 Endocrinology – BI 510 Advanced Human Physiology – BI 511 Advanced Animal Physiology Graduate level courses need faculty with appropriate expertise and approval to teach graduate classes Adjunct faculty may be available to teach BI 201, 202; staffing other classes will be difficult Position Requests Biology

11 Increase in Biology-Physiology Majors

12 BI 202 enrollment is very high. Although we are now searching for a 3- year term instructor position, in order to maintain reasonable class sizes and offer other classes often enough to meet student demand, we need a full-time faculty member with expertise in human physiology. Although Dr. Josh Sharp will now be teaching Immunology, we have not been able to offer BI 225, BI 510, and BI 511 frequently enough to meet student demand. There is student demand for an additional upper-level human physiology course as a companion course to BI 510. Such a course would benefit Biology majors with human health interests as well as students planning to apply to Physician’s Assistant programs. Dr. Winn had 72 advisees, more than any other member of the department. This is more than 3 times the average number of advisees for faculty in all departments. – Adjunct faculty hired to teach BI 201 and BI 202 are not assigned to advise students. Position Requests Biology

13 What is Bioinformatics? Bioinformatics is the research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data. – NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative Consortium Many bioinformaticians study DNA or protein sequence date (genomics and proteomics). Data available has grown exponentially

14 More than 9,000 organisms have had their genomes fully or partially sequenced. (National Center for Biotechnology Information).


16 Why is Bioinformatics Important? Improve understanding of cancer and other diseases. Evolution – Where did we come from? – How are we related to other organisms? Molecular Ecology – How are populations related? – How do genes help organism adapt to the environment?

17 Benefits to Students, Department & University Ability to offer required classes – BI 218: Introduction to Cell & Molecular Biology – BI 312: Genetics – BI 418: Molecular Biology Increase research productivity – Increase graduate student enrollment – Increase undergraduate research involvement – Increased research productivity of faculty – Collaboration with current faculty studying genomics and/or analyzing large data sets Bioinformatics Position Request

18 Benefits to Students, Department & University Prepare students for careers or further education using bioinformatics – Biomedical research – Biotechnology – Graduate programs Amount of data to be analyzed by those with bioinformatics training is growing more rapidly than those with the skills to analyze it Bioinformatics Position Request

19 Benefits to Students, Department & University Enhance interdisciplinary research and interdepartmental collaboration A bioinformatician would bring computer programming and statistical skills that would be of particular value to students and faculty in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department Understanding how to analyze genomic data would be of value to students in Diagnostic Genetics and other programs in the Clinical Sciences Department Bioinformatics Position Request

20 Benefits to Students, Department & University Strengthen the instructional and research efforts in human health and ecology. Increase in research productivity of the Biology faculty by making loads sustainable. Create programs that will help prepare students for careers in a world where genomics and large data sets are becoming increasingly important. Bioinformatics Position Request

21 Some noteworthy requirements: Need office space for additional faculty members. Need additional lab space for a human physiologist Need dedicated space for computers and servers for storing and analyzing large databases, with cooling for a Bioinformaticist – Start up funds for computational facilities ~$10,000 Enhancement Position Request Biology

22 Approximate Costs Faculty (1.0 position w/ benefits)$ 70, 843 Start up funds$ 20,000 Total$ 90, 843 Position Request - Biology

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