COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Split between two colleges for 42 years, Ohio State University's Department of Entomology has come home.
Since 1968, department faculty have shared appointments with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the College of Biological Sciences. But due to a recent restructuring within the College of Biological Sciences and a desire among CFAES administration to solely house entomology, the department is now back where it originated.
"Both colleges wanted the department's full complement of time and attention and it became clear that we could not serve two masters. Over time it became clear that our future would be much brighter if we severed the ties with Biological Sciences and fully invested with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences," said Susan Fisher, chair of the Department of Entomology. "Plus the move back to CFAES makes so much sense. We fit in well with the college's strategic mission."
The merger primarily affects three entomology faculty who previously had no official tie with CFAES: Fisher, whose expertise is environmental toxicology; Glen Needham, known for his work on ticks; and Dave Denlinger, who studies insect temperature tolerance and reproduction. The three researchers will join CFAES entomologists who carry an appointment with OSU Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, or a combination of the two. Needham and Denlinger will retain their partial appointments with the College of Biological Sciences while Fisher will carry a 100 percent CFAES appointment.
With the move also comes the reappointment of Fisher as chair of the Department of Entomology. She is serving her second four-year term.
"Faculty, staff, and students are devoted to this change. They are enthusiastic and see this as a great opportunity," said Fisher.
But the merger doesn't come without its challenges, specifically economically.
"With the large deficit we are facing, it's a bit scary, but Bobby (Dean Moser) has put so much faith in us," said Fisher. "We want to do our best to ensure that he made the right decision."