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College of Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences




Mission Statement/Strategic Plan 2004 

Approved by Faculty vote (March 2004)

VISION:

To be an internationally recognized department emphasizing an integrative approach to biological questions from the molecular to the global level.

MISSION:

Generate and disseminate knowledge in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecology; organismal biology; and molecular and ecological microbiology. Improve scientific literacy, providing students with basic skills and knowledge to be educated citizens. Prepare students for careers in biological sciences and to participate in public service.

SHARED VALUES:
- Diversity of people and perspectives
- Responsible environmental stewardship
- A global view
- Ethical practice of science
- A sense of community

GOALS:
- Maintain sufficient faculty and staff to cover core teaching and research emphasis areas
- Add faculty whose expertise spans hierarchical levels and connects traditional subdisciplines within biology.
- Improve the quality of incoming students
- Increase faculty research productivity
- Maintain an up-to-date and effective curriculum
- Foster diversity in students, faculty, and staff

METRICS:
- Faculty and staff numbers, and their areas of expertise
- Incoming student�s grades and standardized test scores
- Curriculum review and student assessment
- Faculty publications and external funding
- Measures of student, faculty, and staff diversity

RESOURCES & ACTIVITIES SUPPORTING THE MISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT:

Generate and disseminate knowledge in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecology; organismal biology; and molecular and ecological microbiology.
- Research faculty and staff support
- Infrastructure (research laboratories, core facilities)
- International collaborations & research activity
- Chesapeake Bay research activity
- Doctoral and Master�s programs
- Undergraduate research
- Participation in national and regional committees and panels

Improve scientific literacy, providing students with basic skills and knowledge to be educated citizens.
- General education classes for non-majors
- Undergraduate and graduate curriculum
- Infrastructure supporting teaching (teaching laboratories, mediated classrooms, access to field sites)

Prepare students for careers in biological sciences and to participate in public service.
- Undergraduate and graduate curriculum
- Student advising
- Pre-professional curricula
- Secondary education curriculum
- Undergraduate research opportunities
- Mentoring graduate students
- Practicum and internship opportunities
- Student clubs and organizations
- Presentations at regional, national, and international conferences
- Local presentations and service


STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS (SWOT) AFFECTING ALL COMPONENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT�S MISSION:

Strengths:
Dedicated and active faculty core
Established curriculum serving a broad base of students

Weaknesses:
Faculty morale due to repeated internal funding cuts and lack of salary increases
Stagnant or deteriorating physical infrastructure
Lack of sufficient staff
Lack of sufficient space
Insufficient support for graduate students
Inadequate representation of women and minorities among the faculty
Lack of equipment for teaching & research laboratories

Opportunities:
Increasing level of endowment
New buildings in progress & planned
Large and increasing student body with interest in biological science
Diverse and accessible regional population

Threats:
Continued budget reductions
Delayed or no replacements for departed faculty
Lack of support to increase staff
Lack of support to acquire sufficient space in the near future
Increased student enrollments without increased resources
Insufficient funds for equipment purchase and repair/service contracts

STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS (SWOT) TO SPECIFIC COMPONENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT�S MISSION:

Generate and disseminate knowledge in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecology; organismal biology; and molecular and ecological microbiology.

Strengths:
Established external funding base in ecology, marine biology, and microbiology
Established infrastructure
Geographic location

Weaknesses:
Low level of funding per faculty
Heavy teaching loads for research faculty
Absence of a marine science laboratory/ research facility

Opportunities:
Global issues requiring solutions through environmental and microbiological research

Threats:
Loss of our most productive faculty
Lack of internal support required for development into a major research department
High turnover of administrators

Improve scientific literacy, providing students with basic skills and knowledge to be educated citizens.

Strengths:
Established infrastructure supporting teaching

Opportunities:
Regional concern with environmental and marine issues

Prepare students for careers in biological sciences and to participate in public service.

Strengths:
Established student advising structure
Undergraduate research opportunities
Active research laboratories training graduate students
Career advantage program
Active student clubs and organizations
Public service through interaction with local organizations and schools

Weaknesses:
Insufficient incentive for faculty to participate in student advising
Insufficient incentive for service activities
Lack of a full-time student advisor
Limited availability of some classes
Limited funding for undergraduate research

Opportunities:
Continuing demand for well-trained biologists in academic and professional arenas
Increasing student numbers
Improving reputation of Old Dominion University