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James Madison University: A Case Study Documents

Main Document

James Madison University: A Case Study 

written by Steve Whisnant

James Madison University is a public, primarily undergraduate institution with a student enrollment of approximately 18,000. The Department of Physics and Astronomy now serves approximately 110 majors. There are 15 tenured/tenure-track and 6 non-tenure-track full-time faculty in the department. Graduation rates have grown from five or fewer/year to typically 15-20/year. All tenured/tenure-track faculty engage undergraduates in research; 14 are externally funded; 4 are women. Forty-eight students were engaged in research last year.

The growth of our department is due to a variety of reforms. The initiation of our multi-track BS and BA degree programs and a renewed focus on undergraduate research are paramount. These and other significant factors contributing to our success such as student recruiting, outreach, teaching and research integration/balance, promotion of a department culture, visibility on-and off-campus, and university support will be discussed.

Last Modified June 14, 2012