Simpson biology professor resigns


A Simpson College biology professor told students in an e-mail Tuesday that he was resigning from teaching and taking a leave of absence for the rest of the semester. 

“I can say with certainty it was with great sadness that I resigned from the college,” Jeff Parmelee, associate professor of biology, told the Simpsonian in an e-mail. “President Byrd graciously accepted my resignation and allowed me to part with the college and take care of myself.” 

Parmelee’s courses were cancelled at the beginning of the week as the department looked for instructors to take over the classes for the remainder of the semester.

“At this point, the department chair and division head are looking to find replacements,” Steve Griffith, vice president and dean of academic affairs said. 

Griffith said it is likely all classes will go forward beginning Thursday.Parmelee was teaching three courses this semester: Comparative Anatomy, Human Anatomy and a senior colloquium.  Pat Singer, professor of biology and head of the division of natural sciences said they will need more than one interim instructor to fill the position. Singer said it is unique to find one professor who is knowledgeable in all three of those areas.Senior Lucas Mihalovich said he was disappointed by Parmelee’s departure because it will be difficult to get accustomed to a new professor half way through the semester.”He will be missed because he makes class and lab fun,” Mihalovich said. “The learning environment is great along with his teaching style. It will be hard to get used to someone else.”Parmelee came to Simpson in 1999 after receiving his master’s degree from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. “I have had an incredible experience at Simpson,” Parmelee told the newspaper. “The over 1,000 students that I have had the opportunity to either teach, advise, mentor in research or take abroad are my greatest source of pride.”