Friday, June 01, 2012

[469] MTSU Hires Fischer as College of Basic and Applied Sciences' Dean

For release:  June 1, 2012

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
Office of the Provost contact: Dr. Brad Bartel, 615-898-2183 or

MTSU hires Fischer as College of Basic and Applied Sciences’ dean

MURFREESBORO — MTSU Provost Dr. Brad Bartel today announced that Dr. Robert “Bud” Fischer has accepted the position as dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

Following a nationwide search, Fischer joins MTSU from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is professor of biology and served as biology department chair since 2008.

“This was an exhaustive nationwide search to fill the College of Basic and Applied Sciences’ dean position,” Bartel said. “Five finalists were brought to campus. Dr. Fischer has exemplary qualifications at a major research institution (UAB) that will aid him as he shapes CBAS for the future, especially with our new Science Building. We look forward to his arrival at MTSU.”

Construction of the science building began recently. Barring delays, it is expected to be ready for the spring 2015 semester.

The Tennessee Board of Regents recently approved MTSU’s recommendation of Fischer for the position by President Sidney A. McPhee and Bartel.

Before coming to UAB, Fischer was a faculty member and associate chair in the biological sciences department at Eastern Illinois University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, his M.A. from State University College at Buffalo, N.Y., and his bachelor’s from Syracuse University.

Bartel said Fischer’s research areas include aquatic biology, fisheries biology, evolutionary biology and physiological ecology.
In addition to his in-the-field and in-the-lab research, Fischer held numerous undergraduate and graduate-level research positions and the supervising of graduate research by 36 students since 1994. His teaching experience also includes stints at the University of South Carolina at Aiken and at State University College at Buffalo.

Fischer has made more than 90 professional presentations between 1983 and 2011, he has had 40 published works and other manuscripts either in review or in preparation and he has helped obtain 55 grants totaling more than $2 million.

Fischer and his wife, Anita, have a grown daughter, Sarah, who lives in Illinois.

Fischer will replace Dr. Tom Cheatham, who is stepping down after 11 years as dean. Cheatham will become the director of the Tennessee Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Center July 1 and continue serving as dean Through July 31.

“I want to thank the CBAS Dean Search Committee for all of their diligent work during the academic year,” Bartel wrote in an email sent to faculty about Fischer’s hiring. “Finally, we all share a large debt of gratitude to Tom Cheatham for his superior tenure as dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.”

The College of Basic and Applied Sciences features 10 departments — aerospace, the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, biology, chemistry, computer science, concrete industry management, engineering technology, mathematical sciences, military science and physics and astronomy — one interdisciplinary program in environmental science and technology, 5,123 majors as of fall 2012 and 202 faculty.


Note: A high-resolution photo of Dr. Robert “Bud” Fischer is attached.

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