Biology and Marine Biology

(Axel Boer) #1

the Department. The number of new faculty hired has kept pace with, but not exceeded, the number of
faculty lost to retirement or faculty turnover. The Department presently employs eight full-time lecturers to
meet demand for courses.

Suggestion 2: The Department should work to secure additional office and laboratory space for faculty,
post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students.

Acquiring dedicated working space for faculty and graduate students is an acute and on-going problem for
the Department. Briefly, the Department has gained offices and lab space in Friday and Dobo Halls.
These additions were made by re-purposing existing space. Plans to renovate spaces in other buildings on
campus for use by the Department are under way, but these are earmarked for instructional (not research)

New construction has occurred but, frankly, has had little direct impact on the Department’s graduate
program. For example, the Louise Oriole Burevitch Research Laboratory was opened and houses facilities
supporting UNCW’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program and selected field programs. Three new
buildings have been erected at UNCW’s Crest Research Park including the Marine Biotechnology
building, Shellfish Hatchery, and Operations Wing of CMS. At the present time these research buildings
house very few of our graduate students.

Suggestion 3: Support staff should be hired to help reduce faculty workloads. Faculty are increasingly
distracted by routine paperwork and aspects of grant and research administration.

No new personnel have been hired in the Department. However, we have been approved to search for a
second advising coordinator, to assist our current coordinator, Melanie Canfield. This is a critical addition,
as our undergraduate majors have nearly doubled in the past few years to >1000 students. This has led to
increased advising loads for Ms. Canfield and the faculty, and since all of our undergraduates are required
to have an applied learning component to their degree plan, the assistance in managing internships and
other external activities, as well as normal course advising, is essential. However, this new hire will only
partially offset the growth in the teaching and advising load for the department, and the lack of net growth
in the size of the department faculty means teaching/advising loads will still remain elevated compared to
the previous review.

Suggestion 4: The fact that some faculty can take Ph.D. students while others cannot needs to be

The Department is keenly aware of this potentially divisive issue. New faculty members are clearly
advised as necessary and, when possible, the Department faculty have made every effort to be as inclusive
as possible. The Department’s Ph.D. in Marine Biology is expected to remain a specialized low-
enrollment program servicing a talented, but small pool of graduate students. For historical, fiscal, and
other reasons it is exceedingly unlikely that the Department will establish a second Ph.D. degree (e.g., in
Biology) in the foreseeable future. However, we are exploring collaborative programs that would facilitate
taking doctoral students in the biological sciences, and we continue to make sure that the faculty evaluation
process does not penalize faculty members who are not able to take Ph.D. students.

Free download pdf