College of Arts and Sciences

Romano named interim chairperson of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences

July 31, 2009

MACOMB, ILL. – Western Illinois University’s College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Susan Martinelli-Fernandez announced that Biological Sciences Professor Michael Romano has been appointed Interim Chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences effective August 1, 2009.

The position was left vacant by the appointment of long-time Biological Sciences Chairperson Rick Anderson to the position of Interim Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. “I am grateful to Mike for stepping in to help us during this period of transition in the College,” said Martinelli-Fernandez. “Since joining Western Illinois University in 1984, he has served as chair of his departmental personnel committee, been a member of the university personnel committee, the University Graduate Council, represented the president of the faculty union at workshops and was a member of the union negotiating team that developed the current bargaining agreement. His experience with faculty personnel, budget, and curriculum will serve the College well in the coming months.”

“I feel my role as interim chair is to sustain Dr. Anderson’s vision and direction for the Department in order to make the transition to a permanent replacement. Our Department has been particularly strong in field and laboratory experience for students that other institutions have been getting away from. As a result, our students have been actively recruited by state and federal agencies, consulting firms and a number of graduate programs throughout the country. The modern biologist must also have newer skills in molecular biology and geographic information systems (GIS) to complement the more traditional training and thanks to several new faculty the Department is strong in these areas. It is important that the chairperson support the maintenance and growth of these programs.”

Romano received his baccalaureate (1976) and Master of Science (1980) degrees at University of Vermont, Burlington and his doctorate at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1984. His areas of specialization include population genetics and molecular ecology of a wide variety of animals with a special interest in genetic relationships of the hylid frogs, Mississippi turtles, and Illinois wild turkey.