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Biologist Named Acting Dean at Cal State Fullerton

Koch Now Leads College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Robert Koch

Robert A. Koch, chair and professor of biological science at Cal State Fullerton, has been appointed acting dean of the university’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In his new role, Koch oversees the departments of Biological Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and the Science Education Program, as well as department clubs and college centers. The college has 91 full-time faculty members and more than 1,800 students majoring in the natural sciences and mathematics.

“Because of Dr. Koch’s dedicated service as a faculty member since 1976 and excellent leadership as department chair since 2004, I am confident in his abilities to effectively guide our College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at this time,” said CSUF President Milton A. Gordon. His appointment was effective July 19.

Koch has received numerous honors for teaching, research and service, including the 2010 California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology’s Andreoli Faculty Service Award, the CSU system’s Faculty Research Award, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Distinguished Faculty Member Award and the Biology Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

Koch has garnered more than $4.5 million in grants for research and has partnered with other faculty members to bring in additional funds, including $1.4 million stem cell research grants in the last two years. He has mentored more than 100 students and co-authored more than 50 papers with them.

The 34-year campus veteran has served as a visiting scientist at the Beckman Research Institute, Caltech and the City of Hope.

“These experiences and accomplishments are a credit to Dr. Koch’s commitment to excellence, academics and our university, and serve as a critical foundation as he leads our College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics,” Gordon noted.

Koch has been a member of the university’s Planning, Resources and Budget Committee since 2006, as well as committee chair in 2007-08, and has served on the NSM Dean’s Advisory Board since 2004. He also served several terms on his department’s personnel committee, including two terms as chair.

His leadership extends beyond the campus, including founding the Center for Applied Biotechnology Studies and the Program of Applied Biotechnology Studies, which includes a multicampus consortium administered from Cal State Fullerton.

Koch is past president of the Southern California Society of Microscopy and Microanalysis and was a delegate for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001-02. 

The Anaheim resident earned his master’s degree and doctorate in biological science from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology-chemistry from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Koch (pronounced cook) fills the post that had been held since 1995 by Steven N. Murray, recently appointed acting vice president for academic affairs.

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