Charles Good - First Geography Department Head
The Department of Geography was formed following a 1972 proposal for a new department by the Geography Program then housed within the Department of Political Science. Geography faculty were first hired at the university in 1970, and the number of faculty was small. After gaining departmental status and a degree platform in 1975, an MS degree was developed and began in 1977. The department was first housed in the College of Arts and Sciences where it remained until the summer of 2004 when it moved to the College of Natural Resources upon the dissolution of the College of Arts and Sciences. Faculty numbered 6-7 most of the time during this period.
Today the department has grown considerably from its early years. After three buy out retirements in 2002-2003, we hit a low point in 2004 with 4 faculty in tenure track roles and one instructor. Since then the future has been bright as the department now has 11 tenure track faculty and 4 instructors (3 full time). The department teaches a large number of students, offers the largest and among the most innovative courses on the campus, and is well suited to meet the future. In addition, since 2006, Geography has added a new PhD. platform to the college, and added a very popular program in Meteorology at the undergraduate level in 2012. Many of these avenues of improvement represent an internal recognition of the importance of remaining current and taking advantage of Geography’s ever increasing relevance to life today.