Two Associate Deans Join Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences

Two longtime science professors have joined the College of Natural Sciences administrative team as associate deans. Don Mykles, professor of biology, and Jim Sites, professor of physics, each are serving one-third of their time as associate deans in the College of Natural Sciences. Mykles oversees graduate education in the college, while Sites oversees research. They replaced Peter Dorhout, who has been named interim dean of the Graduate School at Colorado State.

"They’re very experienced," said College of Natural Sciences Dean Rick Miranda. "It’s good to get their advice on a number of issues, and they are also a pleasure to work with."  

Mykles joined Colorado State in 1985 as a biology professor and served one year as interim chair of the Department of Biology and assistant chair of the department. In his new role, Mykles hopes to improve stipends for graduate teaching and research assistants and coordinate graduate student recruitment and graduate programs in the college. "It’s important to have high-quality teaching assistants that can effectively teach the lab sections and recitations that we have," Mykles said. "Graduate students also contribute to research by faculty on grants." In addition, Mykles wants to foster greater participation of undergraduate students in research.

Sites joined Colorado State in 1971 as a physics professor and spent a decade as chair of the Department of Physics. He also served one year as interim associate dean in the College of Natural Sciences. Sites’ goals include facilitating the processes involving submitting research proposals and making it easier for faculty members to work together. He also is exploring ways to better use and renovate research space on campus. "I’m looking forward to a recovery from some of the budget problems of the last few years," Sites said. "I’m looking forward to getting some of the new faculty up and running in terms of their research and relationships with funding agencies."

The natural sciences are not homogenous, Miranda said, and the new administrative team represents the physical, mathematical, behavioral and life sciences.  

"We have an excellent blend," Miranda said. "We span the college quite well as far as our individual expertise goes. This helps ensure that the dean’s office enjoys a broad perspective in dealing with issues throughout the college."