University Senate                                                                                            

Proposed: December 8, 2000

Adopted: December 8, 2000

RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH A NEW DEPARTMENT

OF ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY

WHEREAS      the Education Committee has favorably reviewed a proposal from the center from the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), and

WHEREAS      the Committee is satisfied that the proposal has been approved by the deans, department chairs, and Executive Committee of the Faculty of the Arts and Sciences, as well as by the faculty of the Arts and sciences, the Executive Vice Provost, and the Provost, and

WHEREAS      the fields of ecology, organismal evolution, population biology, and environmental biology constitute a separate division of the biological sciences, with its own set of intellectual foci, theoretical foundations, scales of analysis, and experimental designs and methodologies, and

WHEREAS      the trend of past years toward a focus of the study of molecular biology has resulted in a critical shortage of organismal biologists, and

WHEREAS      these fields have become a significant area of research and teaching at several universities and are expected to undergo further growth and to attract talented and energetic students, and

WHEREAS      Columbia University has had a long and distinguished history in the biological sciences dating back to the 1930s, as well as a current consortium with its sister natural science institutions of outstanding intellectual resources for education, training, and research in these fields, and numerous education and research initiatives under way, and

WHEREAS      the future stability and quality of these current resources and initiatives can best be nurtured and protected, as can the future efforts of the department to develop and maintain degree-granting programs and to assemble a stable core faculty, through the structure of a permanent, central core provided by an autonomous, intellectually cohesive academic department, and

WHEREAS      no comparable department currently exists within the university;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED   that a new Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology be established in the Arts and Sciences.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED   that the Committee on Education will review the department in three years with a view to ensuring that the department has a sufficient core of full-time faculty and other resources to support properly the educational programs it is offering.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED   that the Senate forward this resolution to the Trustees for appropriate action.

Proponent:

Committee on Education