Primmer Chair | Capital University


Primmer Chair


    The Merl and Margaret Primmer Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences

    In appreciation of Capital University’s distinguished heritage, Merl and Margaret Primmer established this endowed professorship in recognition of Capital University’s service to society through training students to become proficient in their chosen fields and effectively instilling the tenants of Christian faith and life. Merl Primmer’s life was marked by a lifelong love of nature. He spent 52 years teaching biology at Logan High School and Ohio University and was honored by the Ohio Academy of Science as an Outstanding Science Fellow. He was most passionate about historical, environmental and conservation programs. Both Merl and Margaret were devoted Lutherans, and Margaret was extensively involved with the church. She served as president of the Tri-State Conference of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and also as the Ohio District President of the ALC Women. Margaret lectured extensively in this role and wrote a book, A Time to Speak, recounting the history ALC women in the area.


    The successful candidate for the Merl and Margaret Primmer Distinguished Professorship in Biology will be a full-time, tenure-track or tenured, current or newly appointed biological sciences faculty member and will be recognized by the profession as an eminent teacher and scholar. The professorship holder is expected to bring to the position a mature record of outstanding scholarship, distinguished academic credentials and a history of 10 years or more of excellent teaching in the biological sciences. The individual may be engaged in research leading to publication and is expected to develop courses in botany, zoology and ecology and design student internship experiences centered in research and study at The Merl and Margaret Primmer Outdoor Learning Center.  


    The holder will receive a 25-percent load reassignment to engage in supplemental instructional activity that aligns with the professor’s areas of teaching and scholarship or with the research and teaching related to the The Merl and Margaret Primmer Outdoor Learning Center. Based upon the available proceeds of the endowment, the holder may be awarded an annual summer scholarship stipend and may propose an annual budget to foster related teaching, scholarship and service. The appointee may hold the professorship for a six-year term, subject to annual review and reappointment, and may be eligible for subsequent reappointment. The holder will submit an annual report of activity to the academic dean, provost, and Primmer Committee.

    Selection Process

    The Merl and Margaret Primmer Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences will be appointed by the president and officially named by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the appropriate faculty, academic dean, and provost. The Primmer Committee, which will include the chairs or designees of the natural science departments and the academic dean or designee, will review nominations for the chair and recommend one or more candidates for appointment. In addition, the Primmer Committee, led by the chair holder and assisted by liaisons from the advancement and Facilities Management staff, will provide ongoing guidance to the chair holder on matters related to the endowed professorship and to The Merl and Margaret Primmer Outdoor Learning Center.