Department of Natural Science and Mathematics officially splits

Department of Natural Science and Mathematics officially splits

Photo by Sarah Alexander.

The Department of Natural Science and Mathematics has officially separated after academic restructuring was announced at a board meeting in May.

The move has created two separate departments—the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Natural Sciences.  

Dr. Paul DeLaLuz, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, played an essential part in the separation process.  

“We got to the point that we had gotten so many faculty members that we were as large as, and even larger than, every school represented on campus,” said DeLaLuz.  “We were organized with one chair and one department, but we were physically larger and so we just needed some help organizing kind of the back end requirements for faculty to do their job.”

DeLaLuz said President Paul Conn had determined 2019 as the year to separate the departments.

“We had been preparing some things behind the scenes and he [Conn] made a determination that this was the year, and I am very grateful that we were able to receive that extra support from administration,” said DeLaLuz.  

Mathematics and Natural Sciences had already been working independently among themselves, making the initial split an easier transition for faculty as well as students.  

Senior biochemistry pre-professional major Kristin Smith is among the many students excited for the growth and opportunities to come in the separation of math and natural sciences.  

“I think this will produce an opportunity for growth in a more beneficial way for each department specifically,” Smith said. “It will bring more opportunities and more ways to get involved. I'm excited for it.” 

Mathematical Sciences and Natural Sciences will be able to dedicate more time to programs that are essential to both departments—developing more specific opportunities for new and current students. 

Lee alumna Katherine Peebles expressed her support for the separation as she also believes it will bring about positive changes in both departments. 

“I think this gives each department more room for growth,” said Peebles. “It could also give Natural Sciences an opportunity to expand in their own right as the Mathematics Department takes on their own projects.”

While several changes are still being finalized, the separation is welcomed by students and faculty alike. Having separate departments will allow students to focus on their particular major, while the administration embraces a more manageable structure in their respective faculty and programs. 

For more information about the new departments and their programs, click here.

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