University Senate approves biology major, delays vote on botany, zoology merger
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
The Miami University Senate voted Monday to approve a new biology major.
The decision came after the Senate opted to table a vote on merging the botany and zoology departments until the Senate’s next meeting in two weeks.
Regardless of the outcome of the botany-zoology merger, James Hickey, interim chair of the botany department, said approving the biology major is a step in the right direction.
“This is something that we all feel we need to move forward on,” Hickey said. “It’s important for recruitment, and we feel that it’s a good synthesis of where we need to be.”
According to Doug Meikle, chair of the zoology department, the creation of the biology major will appeal to prospective high school students looking specifically for “biology” as a course of study.
“That’s the word that high school students understand best,” Meikle said. “A lot of this has to do with recruitment.”
The decision to merge the botany and zoology departments, which was tabled, has several justifications, according to Phyllis Callahan, dean of the college of arts and sciences. The proposed merger would also enhance recruitment, as well as achieve efficiencies in staffing and course offerings and enhance collaboration among faculty, Callahan said.
According to Callahan, there are several benefits to merging the two departments, including saving staff positions, saving a department chair stipend and supplemental salary, as well as achieving curricular efficiency and reducing redundancies in the departments.
The Senate also heard special reports from the benefits committee about the 2012 benefits activities as well as employee benefit changes to expect in 2013.
Additionally, the Senate heard a special report from Deedie Dowdle, associate vice president of university communications and marketing, on the Miami logo, branding and domain name. Dowdle updated the Senate on the Miami website redesign, the domain name and logo change, a style guide for identity standards and overarching university branding.