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The Word From West Laf... New Science Dean is a Gopher

From West Laf:

Purdue selects College of Science dean

An administrator from the University of Minnesota has been named the dean for Purdue University's College of Science.

Jeffrey Roberts, currently the chairman of Minnesota's department of chemistry, will start at Purdue this fall, according to a statement released today.

"Jeff Roberts is a distinguished scientist and outstanding academic leader who emerged as the top candidate in our national search,"
said Randy Woodson, Purdue's executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, in the statement. "His vision for science research and education and his tremendous capabilities as a leader will ensure the continued national prominence of the College of Science at Purdue University."

Roberts has been at the University of Minnesota since 1990 and directed the University of Minnesota Research Site for Educators in Chemistry, a National Science Foundation-supported initiative, from 2001 to 2007. He specializes in the fields of physical and materials chemistry and his research interests focus on aerosol surface chemistry.

Purdue's College of Science is made up of seven departments: biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics.

There are 328 faculty members in the college and annual enrollment is more than 1,000 graduate students and almost 3,000 undergraduates, according to Purdue.

Maybe splitting IT into a College of Engineering and a College of Science wouldn't be such a bad idea? Our Administration seems always to be looking to those who are doing things differently from us - see the Graduate School fiasco - as a source of new games to keep them occupied?

Congratulations to Jeff. The chemistry department has suffered some heavy losses in recent years. These losses indicate the high quality of chemistry faculty members. In order to do strong interdisciplinary work it is necessary to have strong disciplines. Chemistry ( and physics and math, and ...) are crucial. Let's not get so carried away with the interdisciplinary business that we neglect the fundamentals. This advice is applicable to a lot of other things going on in Morrill Hall lately...

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