Genetics chair will direct new CALS Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Development

Michael Culbertson, Professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology and Chair of the Departments of Genetics (CALS) and Medical Genetics (SMPH), has agreed to serve as the first Director of the Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Development, a new office to be created in CALS.

In this position Culbertson will spearhead efforts and devise strategies that address issues or problems related to graduate education. He will work with colleagues across the college and the campus, in the private sector and at the state and federal levels, to guide graduate programs toward a secure and bright future.

Among many things, he will focus his efforts on:

  • Working with other schools, colleges and central administrators to secure sufficient institutional support for graduate education
  • Addressing issues of professional development for graduate students that are currently not addressed by individual graduate programs
  • Developing strategies to recruit and retain graduate students of under-represented groups
  • Assembling a cadre of faculty and staff who share an interest in improving graduate education to help achieve the broad goals of these and other initiatives as they relate to graduate education

The new position carries a zero-percent appointment — there is no FTE added to CALS administration. Culbertson will retain his appointment and continue his responsibilities as the Chair of Genetics and Medical Genetics while serving in this new role.