Longtime Colorado State University Psychology Professor Named Dean of College of Natural Sciences

Note to Reporters: A photo of Janice Nerger is available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu/.

Janice Nerger has been named dean of Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences, where she started her career as a psychology professor 20 years ago.

Provost Rick Miranda announced the appointment Friday. Nerger has served as interim dean since 2009.

“Jan has been a tremendous asset to the college and the university – she is the right person to take this college, with its numerous programs of research and scholarly excellence, to the next level,” Miranda said. "Her knowledge and experience with the challenges facing our institution will ensure that we continue to provide an outstanding science education for our students, further develop our excellent research programs in the college and support our faculty’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM outreach efforts."

Miranda appointed a committee, led by Sandra Woods, dean of the College of Engineering, to conduct a national search for the position. Other finalists who were brought to campus for interviews were David Singel, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Montana State University, and Richard Kuhn, professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University.

Nerger came to CSU as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in 1989 after two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at NASA Ames Research Center and SRI International. She was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and full professor in 2002. She served as associate dean for six years during Miranda’s tenure as dean. In 2009, she was appointed interim dean when Miranda was named provost.

During her tenure as interim dean, external research expenditures in the college rose 13 percent and indirect cost returns increased 11 percent. The college budget totals roughly $25 million; an additional $25 million in research funding comes from external sources such as the federal government.

Nerger received her doctorate in Experimental Psychology from the University of California-San Diego in 1988. Her research is aimed at identifying neural mechanisms underlying human color perception.

She has served on a number of college boards and commissions including the College Executive Committee (since 2002), the Faculty Council Committee on Strategic and Financial Planning, Diversity Operations Team, the Council of Associate and Assistant Deans and the Presidential Coordinating Committee for Undergraduate Success. She was also instrumental in establishing the new University Center on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (COLO STEM Center) and chairs the STEM-Ed Deans Council.

Nerger’s professional affiliations include the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities, the National Professional Science Masters Association, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Optical Society of America.