Boyd to become ASU’s dean of science and mathematics

by George Jared ([email protected]) 317 views 

Dr. Lynn Boyd accepted an appointment as the dean of science and mathematics at Arkansas State University, it was announced Thursday (April 25).

“We look forward to Dr. Boyd joining our academic leadership team at A-State,” Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said. “I was impressed with her commitment to student development and research – particularly undergraduate research – which are important hallmarks of our science programs at Arkansas State.”

Professor and department chair of biology at Middle Tennessee State, Boyd also oversees a research lab at MTSU focusing on research aimed at understanding the function of the small protein ubiquitin.

“Along with a strong vision of how to move her department ahead, Dr. Boyd demonstrated the ability to manage a large department – 40 full-time faculty, almost a thousand majors and more than 50 graduate students – that will translate well into our college,” Provost Lynette Cooksey said. “She brings a strong academic research background to the dean’s office, but ability to communicate with faculty and an understanding of the importance of diversity.”

At MTSU, Boyd recently served as the chair of the university’s Chairs Council among other administrative duties. She is currently directing doctoral and master degree projects along with numerous undergraduate student researchers.

The Boyd Lab has worked to understand how ubiquitin is involved in fertilization and early development. The research group at Boyd Lab has two research articles that will be published this year, and both articles are the product of work by undergraduate and graduate students under her supervision.

“The country is clamoring for college graduates who are trained to solve problems and innovate,” Boyd said. “The current critics of higher education point to traditional institutions not succeeding in the shaping of critical thinkers. I’m committed to finding creative solutions to this and other challenges that lay ahead for A-State. Training the next generation of scientists and practitioners is important, and we know that growth in these areas will be essential to the region and to its residents.”

As department chair, Boyd put an emphasis on encouraging faculty support through external funding and additional grant location opportunities. While overall enrollment at MTSU declined, the number of students majoring in biology grew from 690 to 980 during her tenure. Publications in peer-reviewed journals also rose, and two interdisciplinary programs – forensic science and fermentation science – were developed.

“As I said in my application, ‘a great department is one where faculty feel passionate about their work’,” Boyd said. “I’m looking forward to arriving in Jonesboro, begin listening to the needs of our faculty and start translating that philosophy into the entire college.”

Earning her doctorate from the University of Utah, Boyd received her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University. Prior to joining the faculty at Middle Tennessee, she was an associate professor in biological sciences from 2005 to 2012 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Boyd’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas State University System, which is anticipated to happen at the next regularly scheduled board meeting in June. She will assume her new role at ASU starting July 1, 2019.

Boyd succeeds interim dean Dr. Anne Grippo, who led the college during the past two academic years.