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Dr. Robert Mead, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean Emeritus

Robert Mead

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  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA Postdoctoral Fellow, 1968-1970.
  • Zoology; 1968 Ph.D., Zoology
  • Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 1962, B.S., Physical Science; 1963, M.S.,

A Career of Learning

I retired in 2009 after 39 years in 2009. but I continued teaching Parasitology, a popular undergraduate elective with enrollments approaching 150 students, for the next two years. I have taught long enough to have doctoral students who have retired before I did. My research interests were focused on development, initially in tapeworms, but later changed to free living flatworms while on sabbatical.

I was asked if I would be interested in serving as department chair relatively early in my career and that position started me towards a variety of administration positions such as Chair of the Faculty Senate, Associate Dean and, later, Dean of the College of Arts and Science. While these required one to perform the usual administrative functions, my broader objectives were to focus on finding ways of improving student learning and faculty success. I was fortunate to be able to hire good faculty who I helped mentor through "faculty lunches" and I am proud of the fact that all who I hired were successful with their tenure applications and many have earned institutional recognition for their teaching and/or scholarship. At the same time, I found serving in various administrative positions to be excellent learning opportunities as I came to understand (or at least appreciate) both uniqueness and commonality between disciplines.

After stepping down as dean, I developed a science based general capstone course that used malaria as a model to intertwine biomedical science with the humanitarian, political, social and economic implications of this disease. One objective I had with this course was to determine whether undergraduates nearing their graduation were able to integrate their general education requirements in a capstone course with a primary science focus. I learned that they can indeed.


  • Mead, R.W. and J. Reaves, 1998. Proportion regulation in the planarian Dugesia tigrina Following structure formation. Hydrobiologia/Developments in Hydrobiology. 383:105-109.
  • Mead, R.W. 1991. Effect of timing of cutting on patterning and proportion regulation during regeneration of the planarian Dugesia tigrina. Hydrobiologia/Developments in Hydrobiology. 227:25-30.
  • Mead, R.W. 1991. Proportioning of body regions in the planarian Dugesia tigrina as a function of the length:width ratio of the regenerating fragment. J. Exp. Zool. 259:69-77.
  • Eppard, R.A., G.J. Highson, and R.W. Mead, 1989. Scanning electron microscopy of epithelial surfaces of the sea anemone Acontiophorum niveum (Phylum Cnidaria: Class Anthozoa). J. Morphol. 200:63-69

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