Archive for Thursday, August 18, 2005

Boyd cuts back on duties

August 18, 2005

Roger Boyd will get to see more of the world now that he has semi-retired from Baker University.

"I like to travel, and my wife, Jan, and I lead natural history tours to South America," said Boyd, who also frequently travels as assistant curator at the University of Kansas' Natural History Museum. "I hope to expand the travels to Africa and Australia."

Boyd, who has taught at his alma mater since 1976, retired at the end of the 2004-2005 school year as chair of the biology department. He will teach a couple of classes this fall and continue as director of natural areas. Jan will continue her duties as technical services librarian at Baker.

Boyd, who graduated in 1969 from BU, followed the same career path as his late father, Ivan. Ivan taught at Baker from 1941 to 1972 and was biology department chair his entire tenure. After '72, he taught part time and was director of the Baker Wetlands. Sound familiar?

"This is exactly what my dad did," Boyd said.

In semi-retirement, Boyd will continue to work on the campus arboretum, 35 acres of woodland north of town, the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve east of town and the ongoing South Lawrence Trafficway project.

"I'm hoping I'll be able to accomplish a lot more," Roger said. "A lot of it is limited by funds. It's never going to be a situation where we're going to try to raise funds from alums to support natural areas. We'll always have to do it with outside grants."

Boyd, who received a master's from Emporia State and a doctorate from Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo., has always had a love affair with his hometown and alma mater.

"I have a lot of fond memories of growing up here," he said. "A lot of people who baby-sat me when I was growing up were Baker students and most of them were biology majors."

Author of more than 150 scientific articles, Boyd recently received the Exemplary Teacher Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education and community service. He also has been the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award and Distinguished Scholarship Award.

Since becoming chair in 1998, Boyd saw the department budget triple and faculty increase to four full-timers.

"The labs, especially in genetics and physiology, are state of the art," he said. "We've probably brought in $350,000 in outside grants to bolster that. We have excellent technology we're using now.

"I kid Dr. (Darcy) Russell and Dr. (Charmaine) Henry that if they buy another piece of equipment they'll have to take it home at night," Boyd said. "We're kind of running out of room and treading water until our new building gets here."

In the fall, Boyd will teach human ecology and an upper-college course. He'll be using a desk at Mulvane Hall usually reserved for other professors

"We've had a number of adjuncts through the years," he said. "I had this old kitchen table in the corner of my office. I let the adjuncts use it. Now that's my desk."

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