Aldemaro Romero Jr. - Administrator
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Arkansas State University
Aldemaro Romero Jr. has more than 30 years of experience in academia and non-for-profit organizations, more than half of which has been in administrative roles. Currently he is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). As such, he is responsible for 19 departments, 85 areas of study, the university nature preserve, the university gardens, and the university museum. His College includes more than 8,000 students and more than 420 faculty members of which more than 330 are full time. He oversees an annual operating budget of more than $26 million plus external research grants and contracts totaling more than $8 million. He also has training in management for natural resource managers from Pennsylvania State University, and was a full-time journalist while in college and between college and graduate school. Listed here is a summary of his work experience as administrator and educator.
2009 - 2014 : Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences Resigned as Dean effective December 2014 Responsibilities and Accomplishments:• He was responsible for 19 departments and 85 areas of study, which include more than 330 full-time faculty/instructors who deliver classes to more than 8,000 students (http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/) • Overseeing an annual operating budget of more than $26 million plus external research grants and contracts totaling more than $8 million. • Development in conjunction with faculty of a 5-year strategic plan emphasizing initiatives on (a) interdisciplinary curricula, (b) experiential, hands-on and service learning, (c) internationalization, (d) diversification of faculty, students, and staff, (e) faculty-student engagement, (f) intellectual enrichment and collaboration, (g) increasing the institutional profile, and (h) improving physical and financial assets.(http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/CAS_2010_StrategicPlanNov09.pdf). • Fundraising from individuals, foundations, and corporations having raised millions of dollars for diverse projects from national and international sources since July 2009, while completing a $5.5-million capital campaign goal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIsVdT39dZE). He also designed and is currently executing a plan for a $50-million campaign for the construction of a Visual and Performing Arts Center on campus(http://vimeo.com/52501607). • Furthering the importance of a liberal arts education through public outreach, an education that emphasizes critical thinking, a broad view of the world, and the connections among different disciplines (http://vimeo.com/28207561). He has also testified before a congressional subcommittee on the importance of supporting a liberal arts education(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKercxj0cCI&feature=player_embedded) • Fostering the need for promoting the value of a liberal arts education through the Council of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) of which he is Chair of the Committee on Liberal Arts Institutions.(http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/2012_CCAS_Romero.pdf) • Active participant, through the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD), in discussions aimed at promoting the value of degrees in the visual and performing arts. • Developed a number of outreach initiatives including books(http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Academy-Professors-Lincoln-Beyond), weekly newspaper columns (http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/CT_CollegeTalk.html), weekly radio shows(http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/CASsegue.html), TV series, and documentaries, as well as social media venues (including apps)(http://thisweekincas.com) and campus wide arts festivals including flash mobs (https://vimeo.com/65160835). These initiatives are aimed at increasing the visibility of the College while recruiting more excellent faculty, staff, and students and for fundraising purposes(http://vimeo.com/58147059). • Founded and currently direct the Cuban and Caribbean Center (CCC) existing to promote faculty and student exchanges between the U.S. and countries in the Caribbean region, particularly Cuba (http://www.siue.edu/CAS/CCC/ and http://vimeo.com/55283338). As part of this endeavor, he led the efforts in order to sign a cooperative agreement between the Southern Illinois University system and the Universidad de La Habana. He has also led the efforts that resulted in taking SIUE students to perform in Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago as well to bringing Cuban artists and art to the U.S. in conjunction (in part) with the Museum of Fine Arts of Havana. • Developed the Interdisciplinary Roundtables aimed at increasing the scholarly and pedagogical initiatives for faculty members across disciplines. A significant accomplishment by one of these roundtable groups was the designation of an on-campus 380-acre SIUE Nature Preserve(http://thisweekincas.com/2011/01/24/siue-now-has-protected-nature-preserve/) • Supervised the University Botanical Gardens (https://www.siue.edu/gardens/) and the University Museum (http://thisweekincas.com/2011/10/24/university-museum-expands-the-collection/). • Created the Visiting Scholar Initiative so departments can utilize visiting faculty for teaching and academic purposes. • Continued supporting the Faculty Development Initiative aimed at providing faculty members with course releases to enhance their productivity in scholarly and pedagogical enterprises. • Supported the development/improvement of websites. • Founded the journal Polymath, an electronic, open-access, peer-review journal that is interdisciplinary in nature(https://ojcs.siue.edu/ojs/index.php/polymath/about). • Expanded the number of international artists and scholars brought to campus through regular events such as Arts & Issues and the annual Colloquium under the umbrella title “Thinking about…” (http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/colloquia/) • Developed programs to attract and retain students, faculty, and staff of ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in academia. • Increased overall enrollment and retention of students. • Implemented professional advising within the College. With the centralizing of student advising, faculty are no longer asked to register students for classes, do graduation checks, etc. This has had a positive impact on recruitment and retention. The faculty role has shifted to mentoring. • Launched a program designed to recognize, honor, and develop some of the star student achievers of our College. Through this program, called STELLAR (STudent ExceLLence & Achievement Recognition), students who are identified by their departments, as outstanding representatives of their discipline receive special recognition and support from the College to help them achieve their full potential in their academic program and beyond. (http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/STELLAR.html) • Ensured that every program that could be accredited was accredited. • Supervised the construction and renovation of a science complex ($80,000,000), the expansion and renovation of the Art & Design Building ($14,000,000) (http://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/WebCam.html), (https://vimeo.com/62964273), the building of an astronomical observatory, and upgrading of the research and teaching greenhouse. • Under his leadership The Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship (IRIS) Center, was established. This is an active interdisciplinary facility supporting individual and collaborative scholarship, a field that is receiving much attention both nationally and internationally, and supports the College’s—and SIUE’s—mission, vision, values, and long-term goals (http://www.siue.edu/iris/events_archive.shtml). • Supported the university library by donating a collection of about 50,000 documents (including printed, video and audio material) concerning scholarly areas such as speleology and marine mammalogy among others.(For a video that summarizes these accomplishments go to: https://vimeo.com/49052048).
2003–2009: Chair and Professor for Department of Biological Sciences
Responsibilities and Accomplishments:
• Responsible for 24 tenured/tenured-track faculty members, 4 full-time instructors, 2 full-time staff, 550 undergraduate students and 69 graduate students.
• Responsible for B.S., M.S., M.A. degrees as well as Ph.D. degrees in associated programs of Environmental Sciences and Molecular Biosciences.
• Responsible for undergraduate tracks in diverse areas including, but not limited to, Wildlife Management and Environmental Biology.
• Overseeing an operating budget of approximately $2 million per year, plus external research grants and contracts totaling approximately $16 million in annual expenditures.
• Strategic planning.
• He created the appropriate environment in which there was an increase in number of scholarly publications by more than 600% and the amount of grant money received by nearly 600%.
• Establishment of a field biological station.
• Establishing a study-abroad program in Belize.
• Developing numerous outreach programs such as the publication of the book Adventures in the Wild: Tales from Biologists from The Natural State published by Arkansas University Press, which presents the field and lab experiences of the Biology faculty at ASU. He contributed two chapters to that book.
• He edited and also wrote many articles for the weekly science column in The Jonesboro Sun. He produced and directed the nationally syndicated weekly radio show “Science in the Natural State” aired by KASU –a NPR affiliate- as well as several TV documentaries.
• He co-developed the “Science Flicks” series projecting science-based movies followed by a discussion with a panel of experts from both across campus and even external guests and later became a course.
• He co-organized with the Department of Chemistry and Physics the monthly events for the 2009 “Year of Science.”
• Fundraising for improving the infrastructure of several of teaching labs and outreach initiatives such as “The Hall of Science” and an ecological garden.
• He was the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Integrative Biosciences, a peer-reviewed, open access electronic journal published by Arkansas State University.
• He led the initiative of having ASU to sign the Talloires Declaration aimed at increasing the environmental sustainability on campus.
• He created and led initiatives such as the Interdisciplinary roundtables in which faculty members from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities met to discuss current academic issues.
• He also led the initiative of creating a departmental library with thousands of holdings in books, journals, reprints and audiovisual materials.
• He donated to the Ellis Library of Arkansas State a 16,000-document collection on environmental issues in Latin America. This is a unique set of publications that provides researchers around the world with exceptional and extremely difficult to find materials about the state of the environment south to the U.S. border.
• Developed a web site in six different languages and he produced a recruitment poster in Spanish. As a result of that, the international student population increased significantly.
• He created and taught new courses such as Marine Mammalogy, Laboratory of Marine Mammalogy, Field Course in Marine
Mammalogy, Biospeleology. Science Communication for Scientists, Science in the Cinema, History of Biological Ideas and History and Philosophy of Science.
1998–2003: Director of the Environmental Studies Program and Associate Professor
Responsibilities and Accomplishments:
• He was responsible of an interdisciplinary program that integrated faculty and students across several disciplines and departments around an environmental curriculum.
• Strategic planning.
• Fundraising for specific projects.
• Participation in diversity initiatives.
• Developed new courses in the environmental studies area not only strongly interdisciplinary but also innovative in nature and approaches.
• He recruited, mentored, and promoted students, faculty, and staff of ethnic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the natural/environmental sciences.
• Stressed initiatives involving undergraduate students in faculty scholarly activities.
• Emphasized interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research.
• Promoted environmental literacy among students, faculty, and staff.
• Prepared students for a wide variety of career options.
• Developed a very active outreach program by offering public lectures and lecture series, seminars, workshops, and conferences.
• He founded and was the first Editor-In-Chief of the Macalester Environmental Review, a peer-reviewed, open-access electronic journal.
• Produced an annual report on the nature and development of environmental academic programs in U.S. institutions of higher education that was widely disseminated.
• Developed partnerships with other institutions and organizations.
• He led the initiative of having Macalester College to sign the Talloires Declaration aimed at increasing the environmental sustainability on campus.
• He was the Director of the College’s Ordway Natural History Study Area, a nature preserve and a field station.
• Supervised an annual environmental audit of the campus as the co-chair of the Campus Environmental Issues Committee.
• He encouraged inter-departmental cooperation and participation and a maximization of campus resources, both human and material.
• He created and taught new courses such as Environmental Analysis and Problem Solving (undergraduate, seminar). Environmental Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean (undergraduate, graduate, seminar), Environmental Science (graduate and undergraduate, lecture), Biology of Marine Mammals, Laboratory of Marine Mammalogy, Marine Biology, and Field Studies in Marine Biology.
1970–2003: Additional Experience
1996-1998: Assistant Professor of Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Davie, FL.
1994-1996: Instructor, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL.
1994-1996: Adjunct (Research) Associate Professor, University of Miami, FL.
1987-1994: Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology, Universidad Central de Venezuela,
1986-1994: Executive Director and CEO, BIOMA, The Venezuelan Foundation for the
Conservation of Biodiversity, Caracas, Venezuela.
1985-1986: Country Program Director, The Nature Conservancy, Washington, D.C.
1978-1979: Assistant Professor, Universidad Nacional Experimental Francisco de
Miranda, Coro, Venezuela.
1972-1976: Coordinator of the Laboratory of Hydrozoology and the Museo de Zoología,
1970-1970: Laboratory Assistant, Instituto Oceanográfico de la Universidad de Oriente,