Dr. Figdore named Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair of Science

Dr. Scott Figdore

Upper Iowa University President William R. Duffy has announced that Dr. Scott Figdore, professor of science, has been named the Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair of Science. Figdore becomes only the second recipient of the honor since its inception in the early 2000s.

The Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair of Science was initiated by a generous gift from members of the Parker, Fox and Goebel families. The first and only other recipient of the Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair was the late Professor Emeritus Lew Churbuck. At the time of his honor, Dr. Churbuck was a faculty member, curator of the Upper Iowa University Herbarium, and was actively engaged in working with admissions of UIU’s international students. 

Figdore has been assuming the duties of the UIU Herbarium Curator since Professor Churbuck’s retirement. He served as the inaugural dean of the School of Science and Mathematics, recently retiring from that position to return to full-time teaching duties. Dr. Richard E. Bleil replaced Figdore as the dean in July.

“His past service to the university, as well as his current and future commitment to UIU, made Dr. Figdore a prime candidate for being named the Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair,” said Duffy.

“His work with locating, reorganizing, and preserving the remaining samples of the Dr. C.C. Parker Herbarium Collection from the 1860s has been of considerable interest to the very same members of the Parker, Fox and Goebel families who contributed to the initiation of the Robert L. Fox Endowed Chair,” said Duffy.  “It seems only fitting that Dr. Scott Figdore be named the next recipient of this honor.”

Duffy noted that Figdore is the third senior-most faculty member at UIU and has shown exemplary service to UIU over the past 24 years. The longtime UIU faculty member has served in various capacities as faculty vice-chairman and chairman, Science & Mathematics Division chairman, Academic Programs Committee/Curriculum Committee chairman, chairman of the Strategic Planning Task Force on Academic Excellence, and an AQIP Steering Committee member.

“I am delighted to be recognized with this honor,” said Figdore. “I have always enjoyed being a part of the students’ lives over the past 24 years, as with my time spent in the School of Science and Mathematics and with the entire University. I look forward to my continued service with UIU, which has been such a huge part of my life.

“I have also been very fortunate to become friends with members of the Fox, Parker and Goebel families, while working with the UIU Herbarium, which contains plant samples collected by their ancestor and founding UIU member, Dr. C. C. Parker,” he added. “I admire their family members’ dedication to preserving Upper Iowa University’s rich history and heritage.”


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