Arts and Sciences dean puts KSU under his microscope

Kyle Roerink

Six years and two interim deans later, the College of Arts and Sciences finally has its new leader: Timothy Moerland.

Before coming to Kent State in May, he studied muscle physiology at Florida Sate University for 20 years in the biology department.

Moerland has twice traveled to Antarctica to study animals adapting to cold environments. He said his calling was “driven by the curiosity at how organisms work.”

But his newest study on adaptation concerns the students of Kent State and how they live and act within the university.

“One of our focuses right now is student success,” Moerland said. “We are trying to find out why students succeed and have trouble.”

There are common themes Kent State faculty see in terms of retention and success rates, but he believes one key principle in leading students to success is being in class.

Moerland said he and the faculty at Kent State “are trying to bring historically unusual combinations (of research) together.”

“One of our newest hires is trying to link liquid crystals with biology,” Moerland said. “Many biologically important molecules, including DNA, can form liquid crystals.”

Moerland said he is positively surprised about what’s going on in the College of Arts and Sciences. And he is looking forward to bringing all of the ideas on campus into existence.

To succeed, Moerland believes that the right setting, right attitude and right mind are what’s necessary.

Tim Moore, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said it is nice to have a dean who can bring humor into the work environment and also take care of business.

“I am excited to have him at Kent State,” Moore said. “Primarily because he was an excellent choice after having six years of interim deans … he is a solid anchor for a university as large as this.”

Contact College of the Arts reporter Kyle Roerink at [email protected].