Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Natural Sciences and Mathematics to welcome a new dean

The University of Denver’s Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will welcome a new dean Sept. 1. Longtime Ohio State University administrator and mathematics Professor Alayne Parson will replace Jim Fogleman, who is returning to the Department of Biological Sciences faculty.

Parson says she’s excited about the move to the University of Denver from Ohio State, where from 1998–2005 she served as senior vice provost in the Office of Academic Affairs.

DU Provost Gregg Kvistad says Parson will help the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics thrive.

“In Parson, we have an extraordinarily experienced and proven academic leader to assume this pivotal position,” Kvistad says.

Parson says she’s eager to share her passion for mathematics and science with students. She says she’s drawn to DU by the institution’s collaborative approach to education.

“It’s a very special type of institution with a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, and I like that,” she says.

Parson says she expects to spend much of her early time at the University getting to know the faculty and hearing their concerns and plans for the future. And, she’s eager to study interdisciplinary themes that will guide future research and methods of teaching while collaborating with other programs on and off campus.

“I am very much looking forward to working on these initiatives with the faculty,” she says.

A lifelong scholar of mathematics, Parson says she was fascinated with numbers and geometric patterns even as a child. While her duties as dean will command much of her time, she says she cherishes time spent with students and hopes to continue teaching and sharing her passion for mathematics.

“Mathematics is just so beautiful,” she says.

Parson earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Harvard University and did her master’s and doctoral work at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She and her husband, John, have two grown sons. One holds a PhD in mathematics; the other is a lawyer.

The Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics includes biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, geography, mathematics, physics and astronomy. Approximately 465 undergraduates and nearly 80 graduate students are pursuing degrees. By fall the department will be home to more than 50 tenured or tenure-track faculty members.


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