University of Maryland Biology Professor Gerald “Jerry” Wilkinson was named associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), effective April 1, 2018.
In his new role, Wilkinson will oversee the college’s appointment, promotion and tenure (APT) process and the mentoring of tenured/tenure-track faculty members; the promotion process for professional-track faculty members in CMNS; and the review process for periodic faculty members in the college.
Wilkinson joined the faculty at UMD in 1987 as an assistant professor of zoology and was promoted to professor of biology in 1998. He has served the department, college and campus in many capacities, including as interim dean of CMNS (2017-18); director of the multidisciplinary graduate program in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (1999-2005); and chair of the Department of Biology (2009-13). Wilkinson also sat on the Graduate Council (2014-16) and the campus APT Review Committee (2016-17).
“Jerry’s wealth of knowledge about our college and the university will be extremely valuable in his new position,” said CMNS Dean Amitabh Varshney. “His vast experience will be a tremendous asset in enhancing faculty affairs and helping our entire college reach the next levels of growth and accomplishment.”
Wilkinson has also served the larger scientific community in roles such as program director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation (2006-07), president of the Animal Behavior Society (2007) and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (2013-14).
An award-winning scholar and teacher, Wilkinson has been recognized with the Searle Scholar Award from the Chicago Community Trust (1988) and the UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award (1997). He has also received the College of Chemical and Life Sciences’ Faculty Research Award (2001) and Faculty Service Award (2007).
“After learning a great deal about the exceptional and diverse faculty and programs in the college while interim dean, I believe I can provide useful guidance to help every CMNS unit become even stronger than it is today,” Wilkinson said.
With publications in animal behavior, genetics and evolution, Wilkinson’s research addresses a wide range of topics including sexual selection, communication, genomic conflict and speciation. Much of his work explores the inherent tension between cooperation and conflict at different levels of biological organization, from genes to whole organisms.
Wilkinson earned his B.S. in zoology from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Colorado, Boulder; the University of Sussex and the University of Edinburgh. Wilkinson is an elected fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The CMNS associate dean for faculty affairs is a new leadership position in the college. Since 2015, the new associate dean's responsibilities were included in the position of CMNS associate dean for research, faculty affairs and graduate education. This position was held by Wolfgang Losert, who will now be the CMNS associate dean for research and graduate education.
“Given the great size of our college, having two associate deans covering the vast portfolios of faculty affairs, research and graduate education was a necessary step toward achieving major success in all areas,” Varshney said.
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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 9,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college’s 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $175 million.