Since July 1st, 2013, I have been the Associate Dean for Resources and Planning for College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago.
From July of 2003 to June of 2013, I was the chair of the physics department at Loyola.
During my ten year long tenure as the chair, eight new faculty members have joined the department at various levels. Some of these new colleagues came from other departments, and most from other schools. The number of physics majors grew to over 140. Among over 500 BS granting physics departments in the nation, Loyola University Chicago has emerged as one of the largest undergraduate physics departments. On average, we graduated more than 20 BS-degree recipients a year. In 2013, we graduated 32 students in various programs within physics. There are many reasons for this extraordinary success. Here are some of them:
a) We established affiliations with several engineering schools to expand the choices of the schools for students pursuing Dual-degree engineering programs at Loyola. We currently have affiliations with Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University in New York City and Notre Dame.
b) We started a new undergraduate major in biophysics which brought in new students to Loyola.
c) There is generally a tremendous shortage of physics and mathematics teachers at the high school level. To address this problem, we started a dual-degree program that allows students to complete a BS in physics, MEd in education and certification to teach at the secondary level, all within a total of five years.
d) To integrate students into our department, and to provide them very valuable research experience, we continued an innovative Freshman Projects Program that I had initiated in 1996. While many of our students continue these projects during their sophomore through senior years, some join other research groups. Our students overwhelm local undergraduate symposia such as CAURS and Undergraduate Research Symposium at Argonne. They have made numerous presentations at nationals meetings of professional societies such as AAPT and APS, and have coauthored several papers with faculty. In short, we put a very high emphasis on undergraduate research.
e) Constant efforts from the faculty, the staff, the offices of admissions and advising, and most importantly, the enthusiasm of our students have helped in growing the department organically to close to an optimal level.
f) We have worked with our administration to provide a familial atmosphere and academic resources to our students.
Since we greatly value the atmosphere in which we all work, we were ever watchful about the total enrollment lest its size interferes with ambiance of the department.