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David Malik, Chancellor Nasser Paydar, Doug Lees, Simon Atkinson, Simon Rhodes and Ted Cummins

David Malik, Chancellor Nasser Paydar, Doug Lees, Simon Atkinson, Simon Rhodes and Ted Cummins

N. Douglas Lees awarded IUPUI Chancellor’s Medallion for his impact in 45 years of service

Ingenuity, collaboration and dedication defined N. Douglas Lees’ 45 years of service to the Department of Biology, the School of Science, and to IUPUI.

Dr. Lees was awarded the IUPUI Chancellor's Medallion by Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar at his retirement reception on January 18, 2019. During his career at IUPUI's School of Science, Dr. Lees has made in indelible impact on the development of campus through his exemplary teaching and his significant contributions to the development of new academic courses and degree programs, faculty governance, department leadership, institutional planning and management, and research and graduate support.


Lees joined the School of Science faculty in 1973 as an assistant professor of biology. In 1992, he was named chair of the biology department, a position that he held until 2010. In 2011, Lees was appointed Associate Dean for Planning and Finance. Throughout his tenure as chair, he continued his classroom instruction as a professor of biology. 

A founding faculty member of University College, Lees' credits include development of the A.S. Applied Biotechnology and B.S. Biotechnology degrees, as well as strong graduate programs in biology. Lees was a developer of the Life-Health Science Internship (LHSI) program, which has provided internship opportunities for more than 500 students from more than 40 majors across 12 schools on campus. He has served on the IUPUI Faculty Council, Bepko Scholars and Fellows Selection Committee, the Enrollment Management Steering Committee, and numerous campus, school and department search committees. Lees chaired the IUPUI Honors Council for 14 years (1993-2007) and the University College Undergraduate Admissions Committee for 16 years (2002-2018).

"Doug has been a pioneer and a huge part in building IUPUI into what it is today," said School of Science Dean Simon Rhodes. "When you combine outstanding dedication with loyalty, creativity and careful, thoughtful analysis, you have Doug Lees, and we are very grateful."

"Doug is exceptionally creative and especially so on behalf of IUPUI students," Rhodes added. "His creative ideas have included the biology freshman work program to help students succeed at a higher rate, the LHSI program, and creation of the biology one-year master's program that has provided learning and career opportunities that have changed the lives of hundreds of students."

Lees has published countless research publications, periodical articles, chapters and reviews. In 2006, he published Chairing Academic Departments -- Traditional and Emerging Expectations. He continues to write and publish extensively on academic department leadership.

The Department of Biology faculty voted to rename the annual teaching award for graduate students the N.D. Lees Teaching Award.

Additionally, in honor of  Dr. Lees' dedication to student success, the School established the N. Douglas Lees Biology Scholarship fund. This scholarship will support IUPUI School of Science biology students that require financial assistance to help ensure they complete their undergraduate degrees.

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