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John E. Burris


Excerpted from Burris's Inauguration booklet:

A Wisconsin native, John E. Burris came to Beloit from the post of director and CEO of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. He received an A.B. in biology from Harvard College in 1971 and his Ph.D. in marine biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in 1976. He taught at the Pennsylvania State University from 1976 to 1985 and pursued research in marine and terrestrial plant physiology and ecology. He was the executive director of the National Research Council's Commission on Life Science and the first director of the Commission's Board on Biology prior to his affiliation with the MBL. He has served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and as a member of the boards of many distinguished research institutes. In 2008, he was named president of Burroughs Wellcome Fund in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

During the first eight years of the 21st century, the faculty grew in size by 11 positions to 114 with increased emphasis on sociology, molecular biology, cognitive science, Japanese, and international relations. Applications to the college increased by 65% during the period with the student population reaching 1,300. The Harry Moore Townhouses were completed and two new townhouses and several major renovations in the College Park Historic District adjoining the campus added additional housing. A new 21st century master plan was developed for the campus during this period which included the acquisition by the college of the western portion of Emerson Street and portions of College and Clary streets in the center of the residential campus. Years of planning for the Sanger Center for the Sciences were completed and construction was initiated in 2007.

Trustee Dick Niemiec’65, a retired business executive, served as interim president of the college for the 2008-2009 academic year.

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