Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chemistry and Biochemistry
ContentsExecutive Summary . . . 2 History . . . 3 Tradition . . . 4 External Demand . . . 4 Internal Demand . . . 5
Quality of Program Inputs and Processes . . . 6
Quality of Program Outcomes . . . 9
Size, Scope and Productivity of the Program . . . 11
Revenue and Other Resources Generated by the Program . . . 14
Costs and Other Expenses Associated with the Program . . . 14
Impact, Justification and Overall essential Nature of the Program . . . 15
Opportunity Analysis of the Program . . . 16
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is at a crossroads. For a number of years the department has languished with few resources and almost no emphasis on scholarship. These circumstances are changing. The increase in our Welch funding, the advent of IE funds and a renewed emphasis in scholarship in the department have to potential to create an outstanding Chemistry and Biochemistry department at Angelo State University.
In 2008 three research-active faculty were hired. Recently Dr. Flynn left to take a position as chair of another department and this Spring Dr. Dawkins will retire. This gives us the opportunity to add two more research-active faculty. If we can make these hires, the resulting department would have six research-active faculty in five different disciplines of chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical. The resulting department will be poised to achieve American Chemical Society certification for our chemistry degree and would be able to develop a vibrant and exciting undergraduate research program.
As detailed in this plan the cost to develop the program along these lines is no more than the current cost of the department, perhaps lower because the new hires will come in at lower salary levels. A strong under-graduate research program would also give the department a springboard for developing a masters degree, perhaps a 5-year master’s incorporating undergraduate research beginning in the junior year. Additional program investment will be necessary for the masters degree.
Angelo State University was originally created in 1928 as a two-year college, San Angelo College. At that time the current Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was a part of a single unit, the Department of Sciences, which included biology, chemistry, geology and physics.
In 1963, San Angelo College was converted into a four-year institution. By an act of the 58th session of the Texas Legislature that became effective on September 1, 1965 San Angelo College became Angelo State College. At that time the biology program was separated from the Department of Sciences into a Department of Biology.
In 1969, the institutions name was changed to Angelo State University, and the remaining Department of Sciences was split into a Department of Chemistry and a Department of Physics (including geology), in order to reflect better the growth of both programs and the upgraded status of the institution to university. In 1998, in response to the growing importance of the biotechnology industry, the Department of Chemistry added a major in biochemistry and became the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Originally, as part of a two-year institution, the chemistry program was expected to provide a strong background in chemistry to students advancing to upper-level degree programs elsewhere. As Angelo State became a four-year college, then university, the program was able to and expected to offer baccalaureate degrees in chemistry. However, the expectation remained that the department would continue to provide multiple service courses to students seeking other baccalaureate degrees at Angelo State, such as biology, agriculture, pre-health professions, mathematics, physics and teacher education. Today this continues to be an important role for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry plays.
As a two-year school, primary financial support came from the local San Angelo taxation district, as was and remains customary for two-year institutions. When Angelo State achieved four-year status, primary financial support came from state appropriations. This remains true today. In 1980 the department received a one-time allocation of approximately $250,000 for major upgrades of research instrumentation. The majority of our current instrumentation dates from this period.
In 1990, the department received a Robert A. Welch Foundation Departmental Research Grant of $25,000 per year to support undergraduate research in chemistry. This grant has been renewed every year since, and was increased to $35,000 per year starting in 2011. Using the Welch grant the department has been able to support undergraduate research and to purchase several major pieces of research instrumentation. These purchases would not have been possible from state appropriated funds alone.
In 2010, the department began to receive IE funds. These funds have the potential to make a profound difference to the department. For the first time is has been possible to hire for the College of Science a laboratory manager who is also responsible for chemical inventory. This is a major advance for the depart-ment and has made a significant improvedepart-ment in departdepart-mental morale. The IE funds have also been used to support the purchase of instrumentation. This is a profound difference. With the IE funds we have for the first time, the possibility of being able to refresh our instrumentation with a turnover of about 10 years. This does not seem like much but previously there was no support for instrumentation and no possibility of purchasing instrumentation costing more than about $25,000 even leveraging the Welch funds.
With the increase in support for instrumentation and undergraduate research it is possible to put in-creased emphasis on scholarship in the department. The department is moving toward a teacher-scholar model in which the faculty are expected first to be excellent teachers but also to have a strong component of scholarship. To this end the department is encouraging the supervision of undergraduate research projects and the preparation of external grants to fund research in the department. This is beginning to come to fruition, two faculty now have external grants totaling approximately $348,000 over two years.
The department is now putting itself on a footing to receive permission to offer degrees certified by the American Chemical Society. To this end, the Biochemistry degree has been dropped in favor of a degree in Chemistry with Biochemistry emphasis (this is in alignment with ACS practice.) Courses are being aligned with the degree requirements needed for ACS certification. Instrumentation issues are being addressed through IE and Welch funding. A new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer is being pursed through external funding.
Heads of the Department
Head Years Department
Leslie T. Bare 1928-1962 Department of Sciences Delbert G. Tarter 1962-1968 Department of Sciences
“ 1968-1970 Department of Chemistry
H. David Harlan 1970-1989 Department of Chemistry Edgar N. Drake 1989-1998 Department of Chemistry
“ 1998-1999 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry George E. Shankle 1999-2008 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry John J. Osterhout 2008-present Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Thanks to George Shankle and Ross Dawkins for their substantial help in preparing the departmental history.
This criterion assesses the need for and desirability of the program as compared to programs nationally. The Mini Book of Facts from the Office of Instructional Research and Effectiveness shows that the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry had a total of 18 Chemistry and 21 Biochemistry first time student majors in the Fall of 2010 (OIRE Fact Book, 2010-2011). These numbers can be compared to recent data gen-erated by the American Chemical Society. The Committee for Professional Training (CPT) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) recently surveyed the enrollments in chemistry courses of schools with ACS certified programs (CPT Report, 2005). These programs recognize Chemistry majors and Chemistry majors with an emphasis in Biochemistry (equivalent to the ASU Biochemistry major). The average number of chemistry majors in the freshman classes for mid-size schools (enrollments between 2,500 and 10,000) is 10 with an additional 4 chemistry majors with biochemistry emphasis (CPT Report, 2005). These data are summarized in Table 1.
According to these data enrollment in the chemistry major at ASU is 80% higher and enrollment in the Biochemistry major is more than five times higher than might be expected from the CPT survey (CPT Report, 2005) (Table 1). Note also that the CPT survey included only ACS accredited programs, which might be expected to attract more chemistry majors than non-accredited programs. The Chemistry and Biochemistry program at ASU is not accredited by the ACS. These data imply that the external demand for the Chemistry and Biochemistry degrees at ASU exceeds the demand for these degrees nationally.
Table 1: Number of Students Enrolling in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Mid-size School Average† 10 4
ASU 18 21
†171 schools with 2,500-10,000 students (CPT Report, 2005)
Many departments at ASU exist as service departments. Most of the semester credit hours in these depart-ments are generated by majors from outside the departdepart-ments. The very nature of a liberal education makes this necessary and even desirable. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a large component of service teaching. To illustrate this point: in the Fall of 2010 ASU admitted 1475 first time freshmen (OIRE Fact Book, 2010-2011) and there were 496 students in the three freshman chemistry classes, 1301, 1407 and 1411, suggesting that a third of the incoming freshmen take chemistry.
The number of each major in every class taught by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the Fall of 2010 and Spring of 2011 was analyzed. In the freshman classes, Elements of Chemistry, Chemistry for the Health Professions and General Chemistry there were 43 different majors represented, from Agriculture to Theater. The percentage of Chemistry and Biochemistry majors in each of the classes taught in the Fall 2010 is presented in Table 2 and the percentage in the Spring of 2011 is presented in Table 3.
Table 2: Internal Demand – Fall 2010
Course Number # students %ChemBiochem Largest Major % Largest Major
Elements Chem 1301 107 0 Agriculture 31
Health Professions 1407 70 0 Pre-Nursing 89
General Chemistry 1411 295 9.2 Biology 35
Organic 3351 86 26 Biology 36
Fund. Biochem 3331 51 0 Agriculture 87
Biochemistry 4331 69 20 Biology 58
Quant. 3421 17 65 Biochemistry 41
Physical 3361 7 100 Biochemistry 57
In the Fall of 2010 (Table 2) three courses had zero Chemistry or Biochemistry majors, Elements of Chemistry (non-science majors and Agriculture), Chemistry for the Health Professions (Pre-Nursing and Nursing) and Fundamentals of Biochemistry (Agriculture, Biology). Three others had a minority of Chemistry and Biochemistry majors, General Chemistry, Organic and Biochemistry (these are dominated by Biology majors). Only two classes had a majority of Chemistry and Biochemistry majors, Inorganic Quantitative Analysis and Physical Chemistry.
A similar situation exists in the Spring semester (Table 3. Three courses have no Chemistry or Bio-chemistry majors, Elements of Chemistry (non-science majors and Agriculture), Chemistry for the Health
Professions (Pre-Nursing and Nursing) and Fundamentals of Organic (Agriculture and Biology). In three other, Chemistry and Biochemistry majors were in the minority, General Chemistry, Organic and Metabolism. Finally, in four courses Chemistry and Biochemistry majors predominated, Seminar, Chemical Literature, Biophysical and Instrumental.
Table 3: Internal Demand – Spring 2011
Course Number # students %ChemBiochem Largest Major % Largest Major
Elements Chem 1301 57 0 Agriculture 19.3
Health Professions 1407 50 0 Pre-Nursing 90
General Chemistry 1412 158 13 Biology 30
Organic 3352 68 26 Biology 35
Fundamentals Organic 2353 68 0 Agriculture 78
Seminar/Chem Lit 3201,4181 12 83 Biochemistry 50
Metabolism 4332 24 37 Ag (pre-vet) 33
Biophysical 4333 8 100 Biochemistry 100
Instrumental 4521 21 100 Biochemistry 76
These data characterize the service component of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The department served at least 43 different majors in the 2010-2011 long term and provided crucial courses to hundreds of students in the the Agriculture, Biology and Nursing programs.
An interesting aspect of this study is that it allows us to calculate the number of professors it takes to teach our majors. Our current teaching staff is 9 professors. If one prorates the teaching of Chemistry and Biochemistry majors, the result is that it takes about 1.6 professors to teach the majors while 7.4 professors are devoted to service teaching and administration.
Quality of Program Inputs and Processes
The quality of the program inputs and process measures the quality of the faculty, staff, students, curriculum, facilities and other resources necessary for the program (Dickeson, 2010).
Two obvious measures of faculty quality are percentage of tenure-track faculty and percentage of faculty holding a Ph.D.. The faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for the period 2008-2011 and projected into 2011-2012 are shown in Table 4. Recently, the faculty consisted of one Instructor, Mr. Boudreaux, who is a M.S. and non-track. The remainder of the faculty held a Ph.D. and were tenure-track. This is a very good situation since we were not, like many modern-day departments, relying on non-tenure-track faculty to teach all of the introductory courses. Recently, because of faculty resignations and retirements, the situation has become less clear, especially going into 2011-2012.
Table 4: Faculty
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012
Tenure Track Carter Carter Carter Carter
Dawkins Dawkins Dawkins1 Inorganic2 Flynn Flynn3 Visiting4 Organic5
Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell
Osborne Osborne Osborne Osborne
Osterhout Osterhout Osterhout Osterhout Velasquez Velasquez Velasquez Velasquez Instructor Boudreaux Boudreaux Boudreaux Boudreaux
Temporary Sabino6 Wade7 –
– – Beatty8 ?9
– – Shankle ?
% Tenure Track 78 88 60 56-8910
% Ph.D. 89 88 70 56-8911
1Dawkins is retiring after the Spring of 2010.
2This position was advertised and we had 14 applicants. If it goes forward we intend to hire an inorganic
3Flynn left in the Summer of 2009 to take a position of Head of Chemistry, Physics and Math at West Texas
4George Shankle is replacing Flynn as a visiting assistant professor for 2010. 5The Department is advertising for an organic chemist now.
6Dr. Sabino was hired on a THECB grant to work on the grant and provide teaching relief for Dr. Carter. 7Ms. Wade was hired to take up the slack for Dr. Osterhout’s teaching release due to his NIH grant. She is
teaching three lab sections of 1411-1412. We needed every one of them in the Fall of 2010.
8We added a class for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Fall of 2010. I originally proposed to hire
a regular faculty member to teach this class but was told to use an instructor. Mr. Beatty was hired for this position. Mr. Beatty is planning to go to graduate school for the fall of 2011 and so might not be available.
9We would like to hire another instructor for 2011-2012.
10,11These numbers depend upon the faculty we can hire and whether they are masters/Ph.D. and tenure-track/non-tenure-track.
The best thing that can be said about the Cavness building is that it is . . . a building. When Cavness opened in 1968 it housed the Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Nursing programs. ASU had a total enrollment of about 2,700 students. Cavness is blessed with late ’60s architecture, colors and plumbing. The laboratory spaces are large, the classrooms are small and the seating is 1960’s table desk schoolboy. Most
of the classrooms lack any sort of AV equipment leaving the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to use aging laptops and projectors. Cavness is an awe inspiring eyesore and a definite drag on recruiting.
As noted in the history section, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry received a one time allocation of $250,000 in 1980. Most of our instrument holdings still date from this time. Scientific instruments have a useful lifetime of about ten years. So many of our instruments are seriously outdated. This creates several problems for the students and faculty. First, there is maintenance. As the instruments age it is that much harder to keep them running (just finding parts can be problematic). Since the department does not employ an instrument manager, the burden falls on the faculty. The problem for the students is that they are being instructed on instrumentation that is twenty or more years out of date, instrumentation that they will not encounter beyond our hallowed halls except in museums. So when they enter professional schools or the workplace they will not have experience with modern instrumentation.
The situation has recently improved markedly. The implementation of laboratory fees to provide Instruc-tional Enhancement (IE) funds promises to help resolve the departmental instrumentation problems. Further, part of the departmental Welch grant, now $35,000 per year, can be used to fund instrumentation purchases. The combination of the two funding sources will allow the department to replace most of its instrumentation (with the exception of the NMR) on about a 10 year cycle. This is very good news indeed. However, we are now in year 2 of the IE funds and year 1 of the increased Welch departmental grant so there are are at least eight years left to go in the first instrumental refresh. The danger for Chemistry and Biochemist is that the looming state budget crises will prompt the “repurposing” of the IE funds to cover general shortfalls and the department will be left to languish in the same situation of neglect it has enjoyed since 1980.
The last major curriculum change in the department was the development of the Biochemistry degree in 1998. At that time it was recognized that there was an increasing interest in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries and a corresponding interest in biochemical degrees. The biochemistry degree is also an excellent preparation for medical school and many of the biochemistry majors are pre-meds.
Recently the department has begun to focus on obtaining permission from the American Chemical So-ciety to offer ACS certified degrees. The ACS does not recognize a biochemistry degree, instead requiring a chemistry degree with biochemistry emphasis. Note that it is possible to have other emphases such as forensic or organic chemistry. The department recently modified its degree plan to offer a chemistry degree with and without biochemistry emphasis. These changes, with attending changes in course requirements, will have two benefits: alignment with ACS policy and removal of almost of all necessity for small (¡10 students) classes.
The department is currently concentrating on revamping courses in the first two years of the chemistry sequence, namely General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. For general chemistry, this entails the adoption of an “atoms first” approach, a new textbook and the institution of simultaneous identical exams in all sections. Our current organic professor, Dr. Maxwell, who also has extensive experience in teaching general chemistry and biochemistry and who has taught a nursing chemistry class, is being assigned to handle CHEM 1407, Chemistry for the Health Professions. The department is currently trying to hire a new organic chemistry professor. This hire will provide an opportunity to reconsider the organic curriculum, the textbook and the organic laboratory curriculum.
The department is also engaged in the evaluation, monitoring and reporting of student learning objectives (SLOs) in all classes. These SLO results are currently being used to drive course and curriculum development in the department.
The quality of students entering the program can be approximated by the average standardized test scores of entering students. The average SAT and ACT scores for students entering ASU (OIRE Fact Book, 2010-2011), for students in Texas (College Board–Texas, 2010; Texas, 2010) and nationally (College Board, 2010; ACT, 2010) are presented in Table 5. In Texas, 53% of high school graduates took the SAT while only 33% took the ACT (Texas, 2010).
Table 5: Average SAT, ACT in 2010 by Group
Group SAT Verbal SAT Math ACT English ACT Math
US Average 501 516 20 21
Texas 484 505 20 21
ASU 469 490 20 21
The data in Figure 5 indicate that incoming students are below average (SAT) to, at best, average (ACT) compared to students nationally.
Quality of Inputs – Summary
The quality of inputs can be summarized as follows:
•Faculty Small dedicated faculty with a high percentage of faculty holding the Ph.D..
•Faculty High faculty turnover.
•Facilities Outdated building.
•Facilities Lack of dedicated research space.
•Instruments Outdated instrument holdings.
•Instruments New source of funding (IE) to update instrumentation.
•Students Below average to average student population.
Quality of Program Outcomes
Higher education is increasingly turning away from program inputs and focusing instead on program out-comes. According to Dickeson (2010), “Assessing quality outcomes is generally regarded as more difficult and less precise than assessing quality inputs”. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is currently debating the best assessment methods for program outcomes. What follows is a discussion of the current situation and thinking about outcome assessment in the department.
Major Field Test
Students graduating with degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry are required to take the Major Field Test (MFT) in chemistry. The results of these tests are uniformly poor. The faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry have serious reservations about the use of the MFT as an evaluation instrument and are considering options. Considerations in these deliberations are:
•The MFT in Chemistry tests mostly knowledge from General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, i.e.
from freshman and sophomore courses. The seniors taking these tests are two years away from these subjects.
•The MFT in Chemistry tests mostly factual knowledge while the student learning objectives for both
ASU and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry emphasize the ability to use knowledge and reason effectively.
•The students have no stake in the MFT. It is not used as part of a grade or even as a pass/fail test for
graduation. Because there is no consequence, the students do not take the test seriously (this attitude has been noted in student interviews).
•The department is considering the development of one or more exit exams to be incorporated in senior
and junior level courses as a test grade. One idea is a set of exams amounting to a cumulative exam in which a student has to make a minimum score over the set in order to graduate. These discussions are ongoing.
Other Standardized Test Scores
Our students apply graduate school, pharmacy school and medical school and so must take the GRE, MCAT and PCAT. However, we have not made any concerted effort to track these scores. The faculty of Chem-istry and BiochemChem-istry have discussed using the GRE, MCAT and PCAT as program evaluators and have discussed paying for these tests for the students as an inducement for providing the test scores. However the cost to the department is prohibitive. We are attempting to contact former students in hopes of getting enough data for baselines and are planning to solicit current students for submission of their scores.
Our graduates are successful in finding jobs and admittance to professional schools. Here is a partial list of recent graduates:
•Brandon Barnes, Biochemistry, Spring 2010, Texas A&M Kingsville Pharmacy School
•Kaci Pruser, Biochemistry, Spring 2010, Podiatry School, now Texas Tech second degree nursing
•Jennifer Bukowski, Chemistry Spring 2010, Law school
•Chad Kimrey, Chemistry Spring 2010, Cheddar’s
•Miguel Diaz, Spring 2009, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, graduate school for a masters in biology
•Shane Guthrie, one year in industry then graduate school Texas A&M College Station
•Jared Bird, Spring 2009, medical school Texas A&M College Station
•Andrew Mahler, Spring 2009, graduate school Chemistry, University of North Texas
•Katie Kirchoff, Fall 2008, Master’s in education at ASU and is now teaching in the Midland/Odessa area
•Caitlin Cozby, Fall 2008, is working for the Miracle Grow plant in Balinger
•Kandice Fryar, Fall 2008, Working at ASU as a research technician
•Whitney Mason, Texas Tech Pharmacy School in Amarillo
•Carissa Chadwick, Texas Tech Pharmacy School in Abilene
•Kiran Brewer, Texas Tech Pharmacy School in Abilene
Note that about half of the students admitted to pharmacy school do not receive an undergraduate degree. This is a problem for us in evaluating our program. The pharmacy schools do not tell us when they admit one of our students and this data is not tracked statewide. So we rely on word of mouth to monitor our success. The students do not graduate with a degree so it seems like these students are not retained, when in fact their admission to pharmacy school is a huge success for the program. We are attempting to remedy this situation by more tightly monitoring the progress of the pharmacy students. Another aspect of the pharmacy program is that the students tend to drop out or change majors when they fail to get into pharmacy school. We are also attempting to make sure that the pre-pharmacy students have a back up plan in mind as early as possible. Few of these students are aware of opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry that are interesting and provide very good career prospects.
I regularly attend the Texas Folder’s Meeting which is held in east Texas in the Spring. Last year I was able to talk with some of our recent graduates who are in graduate school in Texas A&M College Station. I was also able to talk with some of their professors. The professors had this message for me: “Send us more students.” I also received a letter from UNT recently with the same message, send more students. So our graduates are being successful in graduate school and our program at ASU is respected for the quality of these students.
Size, Scope and Productivity of the Program
Figure 1: ASU Fall FTE and Chemistry SCH A measure of the total size of the
pro-gram is the semester credit hours generated, these are shown in Table 6 for the period 2006-2011. Generally, the overall enrollment in Chemistry and Biochemistry is dominated by the freshman classes. In turn, the fresh-man classes rise and fall with the overall ASU enrollment. The Fall enrollment in FTE and the Chemistry and Biochemistry SCH are shown in Figure 1. Both Chemistry and Bio-chemistry SCH and ASU Fall FTE bottomed out in 2008.
However, there is an additional wrinkle. In 2008, the Nursing program decided not to require CHEM 1301 and CHEM 1101. About 80% of the drop in SCH between 2007 and 2008 is accounted for by the decrease in en-rollments in CHEM 1301 and CHEM 1101
precipitated by the exodus of the nurses. The remaining drop can be accounted for by the general enrollment decline reflected in the Fall FTE.
The drop in SCH due to the change in the nursing program is anomalous. Since the nadir in 2008 the program has experienced a growth of 14% from 2008 to 2010. This is 7% per year. Extrapolated linearly to five years this represents 35% growth over five years.
Table 6: SCH Generated by Chemistry & Biochemistry
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011†
Chem & Biochem 4,828 4,756 3,774 4,026 4,279
An important question is whether programs have sufficient depth to adequately represent the content of the discipline. The American Chemical Society recognizes five basic disciplines within chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, organic, physical and inorganic. Chemistry departments also often have specialists is chem-ical education as well. Two professors have recently left or are leaving the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. One to take a position as chair at another university and one to retire. This represents an opportunity to realign the department with the recognized ACS disciplines. Table 7 shows the potential for realignment.
Table 7: Chemical Disciplines in Chemistry & Biochemistry
Discipline Old alignment New alignment
Analytical Carter Carter
Biochemistry Osborne Osborne
Organic Maxwell Flynn replacement
Physical Velasquez Velasquez
Inorganic – Dawkins replacement
Education – Maxwell
Maxwell has decided that she is giving up organic research in favor of educational research. Replacement of the two leaving professors will allow the department to field a complete complement of major chemical disciplines. This will allow us to teach the courses necessary for ACS certification and will provide students with a set of research choices spanning all of the major disciplines of chemistry.
Despite the heavy teaching load, lack of dedicated laboratory space and aging instruments, the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have been able to pursue research projects with undergraduates and, in collaboration with Biology, with graduate students. Dr. Flynn was very successful at producing scholarly work with undergraduates. The research from our new faculty, Osborne, Osterhout and Velasquez is now coming on line. Dr. Carter has a research student and will be presenting a poster this spring.
Recent Publications from Chemistry and Biochemistry
•Pruser KN, Flynn NE (2011) Acrylamide in health and disease. Front. Biosci. 3:41-51.
•Flynn NE, Patyrak ME, Seely, JB and Wu, G (2010) Glycine oxidation and conversion into amino acids
in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans. Amino Acids 35:605-608
•Osborne EM, Ward WL, Ruehle MZ, DeRose VJ (2009) The identity of the nucleophile substitution may
influence metal interactions with the cleavage site of the minimal hammerhead ribozyme. Biochemistry 48:10654-64.
Recent Presentations from Chemistry and Biochemistry
•Kaci N. Pruser and Nick Flynn (2010) Effect of amino acid side chains on acrylamide production in
French fries. American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, March 21-25, Green Chem-istry Symposium, (Angelo State University, 1 st place undergraduate poster competition)
•Kaci Pruser and Nick Flynn (2010) Effects of amino acids and aqueous source polyphenols on
acry-lamide production in French fried potatoes. Texas Academy of Science Meeting, Stephenville, Texas, March 4-6
•John J. Osterhout, Kathryn Louie, Kandice N. K. Fryar, Design, Expression and Purification of Trojan
Horse Inhibitor-1 (THI-1), a Protein Therapeutic Against HIV. 24th Symposium of the Protein Society, San Diego, CA, August 1-5, 2010
•Jason Strickland, Loren Ammerman, Kelly McCoy and John J. Osterhout, Preliminary analysis of
phylo-geographic variations among Texas cottonmouths, Agkistrodon piscivorus using nuclear ALFP markers and venom protein profiles. Southwest Association of Naturalists, Spring 2010, Texas Tech University field Station, Junction, Texas
•Chad Kimrey and John J. Osterhout, Crotalus atrox and Agkistrodon piscivorus venoms give lower
re-sponse to the Bradford test that bovine serum albumin. American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, March 21-25, 2010
•Joeseph J. Pleen (2010) Structure and activity of novel cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPS) isolated
from western cottonmouth venom (Agkistrodon piscovorus leucostoma). Texas Academy of Science Meeting, Stephenville, Texas, March 4-6 (From research in my laboratory).
•John J. Osterhout, Effects of Chemical Additives on the Stability of a Model Helical Hairpin Peptide
Using Extended Helix Coil Theory (XHC). 23rd Symposium of the Protein Society, Boston, MA, July 25-29, 2009
For the Spring and Summer of 2011: Dr. Carter has an abstract accepted to the Texas Academy of Science meeting, Dr. Osborne is taking a poster to the National ACS meeting this spring and Dr. Osterhout is submitting to the Protein Society meeting in July.
Revenue and Other Resources Generated by the Program
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry generates revenue from three sources: tuition, formula funding and external grants. The revenue generated by the department for the last five years broken down by funding source is shown in Table 8.
Table 8: Chemistry & Biochemistry – Revenue
2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011† Tuition 397,827.20 391,894.40 310,977.60 331,742.40 352,589.60 Formula 603,311.41 597,903.37 492,320.92 527,284.13 553,342.37 External Funding 25,000.00 25,000.00 97,751.50 253,827.00 198,575.50 Total 1,026,138.61 1,014,797.77 901,050.02 1,112,853.53 1,104,507.47
†Not including summer 2011. Future plans include writing grants to secure a new nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer for the department. The old spectrometer has been broken since 2008 and funds are lacking for its repair or re-placement.
Costs and Other Expenses Associated with the Program
Salaries and M & O
The salary and M&O costs of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are shown in Table 9. The ratio between the program income and the costs are also shown. Two ratios are presented, one considering only Tuition and Formula Funding and the other including grant income as well.
Table 9: Chemistry & Biochemistry – Costs
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 Unclassified 448,738 460,007 461,007 Classified 35,389 33,561 33,561 Student salaries 16,627 18,789 18,789 M&O 30,610 30,610 30,610 Total 531,364 542,967 543,967 Ratio† 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ratio‡ 1.7 2.0 2.0
†Income/Costs (Tuition + Formula funding only.) ‡Income/Costs (Including Grants)
Without considering grant income the ratio of income to costs is greater than or equal to 1.5 for the last three years. The income to cost ratio goes up to 1.7-2.0 if grant income is included. These ratios indicate that the program is bringing in $1.50 to $2.00 for every dollar that is spent.
As noted in the internal demand section, only about 1.6 professors are needed to teach the majors. If the costs are prorated then only 17.8% of the costs are supporting the Chemistry and Biochemistry majors. This amounts to about $96,700. Each student is worth about $29,680 in tuition and formula funding for their 120 hour degrees. We are on a pace to graduate 21 chemistry and biochemistry majors over the next two years (based on the number of students in the required Instrumental course). Call it 10 for a round number. Ten majors per year implies $296,000 per year in income to the university. The income to cost ratio is 296,000/96,700 = 3.1, not considering grant income. This is a rather simplistic analysis, but both this view and the data in Table 9 imply that the program is paying for itself. The faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry also provide benefits to ASU that go well beyond their teaching duties. These include service on university committees, research, grants, service in professional societies, service to the community (Science Days and EYH) and mentoring students through involvement with the Chemistry Club.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been fairly successful at obtaining both internal and external research funding. Almost all of the additional cost of running the research part of the program is being born by these research grants.
Costs to Improve the Program
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry can become an exemplary program for very little cost, in fact for a cost savings over 2010-2011. The program needs improvement in two areas: the curriculum needs to be improved so that the students leave the program better prepared and a vibrant program of undergraduate research needs to be implemented. Curriculum improvement can be accomplished with little additional cost. Our current program of SLO evaluation, and a general improvement of General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry will provide a strong base for the upper division classes. The first step toward a vibrant program of undergraduate research was taken in 2008 when three new research active faculty were hired. If we can replace Dawkins and Flynn, this will add two more research active faculty and, importantly, the balance of expertise in the department will allow students to pursue research in a variety of chemical disciplines. Replacing our two positions would give us six research active faculty in the scientific disciplines, one in chemical education and two instructors. Since the department will replace Dawkin’s full professor salary and Flynn’s associate professor salary with two assistant professor salaries there will actually be a cost savings.
The largest cost to improve the program will be the eventual replace of the Cavness building. This needs to be done anyway. A cost/liability analysis of Cavness will likely show that replacement will make fiscal sense in the long run. However, it is entirely possible to make great improvements to the program while waiting for the new building.
Impact, Justification and Overall Essential Nature of the Program
The Central Science
Go to Google and type in “The Central Science”. The first link will lead you to a Wikipedia entry of the same name in which this is the first sentence “Chemistry is often called the central science because of its role in connecting the physical sciences, which include chemistry, with the life sciences and applied sciences
such as medicine and engineering. “ The phrase is the title of a chemistry textbook “Chemistry: The Central Science” by Brown and LeMay, first published in 1977 (Brown and LeMay, 1977). Chemistry is the central science and at ASU it is the linchpin of a number of programs including but not limited to Agriculture, Biology and Nursing. Chemistry courses also figure prominently in preparation for medical, graduate and pharmacy schools. Chemistry is so central to the scientific disciplines that it is hard to imagine a University without a program in Chemistry.
The mission statement of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry:
The mission of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Angelo State University is to prepare students for careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry and for responsible citizen-ship by advancing chemical literacy and promoting the ability to apply chemical concepts to contemporary societal problems.
This departmental mission statement fully supports the mission of Angelo State University. Clearly it has been demonstrated that the department prepares students for careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry. The department also promotes lifetime learning and the ability to reason with chemical concepts that prepare students to understand their complex world (for example, pollution, climate change and the finite resources of the planet) and, by applying reason and prior knowledge, be better citizens.
Opportunity Analysis of the Program
The current plan is to continue to improve the program so as to develop a regional reputation for excellence, thus increasing enrollments the old fashioned way – through excellence.
An aspect of this plan to develop a vibrant undergraduate research program. A program supported by 5 or 6 research active faculty could support 10-12 undergraduate researchers. Alternatively, about the same number of graduate students could be supported. So one opportunity is to develop a graduate program out of an ongoing undergraduate research program.
•Universities in west Texas are currently exploring the idea of a West Texas consortium. This would
allow them to pool senior level classes (which would then be taught on line) and thus eliminate the need for each university to teach a full complement of courses. Thus the surrounding universities are moving away from having complete programs. This is an opportunity for ASU. We currently have the numbers to avoid small classes with the new Chemistry degree +/- Biochemistry emphasis. Why go to a university where you will have to take courses somewhere else to complete your degree when you can go to ASU and do it all in one place?
•Develop a five-year masters program in biotechnology or environmental chemistry. Both areas have
potential for employment of ASU grads and have the potential to be very lucrative. A five year masters degree would start with research in the junior year, giving three years to complete the masters research.
During the senior year the student would take a cohort of masters level courses and complete the course work and research during the fifth year.
•On line non-majors and nursing chemistry courses. The model is to deliver the classroom portion on
line and the laboratory portion in regular laboratories. The advantage of doing this is that the simpler non-majors labs and nursing labs could be delivered remotely, say in the hill country, at ASU during the summer or at the rate of 4 sections per eight hour day on the weekends. We envision that these offerings would be very popular with agriculture students, students in the nursing program and working people.
•There are real opportunities for the pre-pharmacy program. The first step is to arrange a guaranteed
admission plan with Texas Tech. The second is to develop a program similar to the Health Professions Advisory Committee for the pre-pharms. These two simple steps should improve enrollments, im-prove success and imim-prove retention to Chemistry or Biochemistry for the students that fail to achieve admission.
•There are opportunities in specialty chemistry courses such as forensic chemistry, environmental
chemistry, chemical analysis for military applications (explosives, tracing oil products through mass spectroscopy signatures or nuclear chemistry for tracing plutonium or other weapon grade materials) and even chemistry for writers (so that you do not create a scientific gaffe in your magnum opus).
ACT, 2010. The Condition of College & Career Readiness Class of 2010. ACT. Brown, T. L., LeMay, H. E., 1977. Chemistry: The Central Science. Prentice Hall, NJ. College Board, 2010. 2010 College-Bound Seniors Total Group Report. College Board. College Board–Texas, 2010. 2010 College-Bound Seniors State Report Texas. College Board.
CPT Report, 2005. Report on the CPT Survey of 20012004 Enrollments in Selected Chemistry Courses. Committee on Professional Training, American Chemical Society.
Dickeson, R. C., 2010. Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services, Reallocating Resources to achieve Strategic Balance. Jossey-Bass, Wiley imprint, San Franciso, California.
OIRE Fact Book, 2010-2011. A Mini Book of Facts: 2010-2011. Office of Institutional Research and Effec-tiveness, Angelo State University.