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Geist Chair

The Robert M. Geist Endowed Chair in Biology

Dr. Robert Miller Geist, a 1923 graduate of Capital University, served as an instructor of biology from 1926-1928, then as an assistant professor from 1928-1930. In 1930, he was named a professor and head of the biology department, a position he held until retirement in 1964. That same year, Doc Geist, as he was affectionately known to his students, was named the recipient of Capital’s Praestantia Award, the highest teaching award bestowed by the University. Dr. Geist and his wife, Florence (Schleppi), had two sons: Dr. Robert M. Geist Jr. (’43) and Dr. James H. Geist (’48). Dr. Geist passed away in 1979.

Dr. Geist was the author of numerous articles and publications, including Heat Sensitive Areas of Certain Grasshoppers, Additional Mallophaga from Ohio Birds, Faunistic and Ecological Study of Mallophaga, Laboratory Directions for General Zoology, Notes on the Infestation of Wild Birds by Mallophaga, Human Engineering, and Teaching in a Christian College.


The successful candidate for the Robert M. Geist Chair in Biology will be a full-time, tenure-track or tenured, current or newly appointed Capital University biological sciences faculty member and will be recognized by the profession as an eminent teacher and scholar, and is expected to bring to the position a mature record of outstanding scholarship, distinguished academic credentials and a history of excellence in teaching. The individual is expected to engage in research leading to publication; candidates should be prepared to pursue such research singularly and in concert with colleagues and students. The individual will, on occasion, serve as an ambassador for Capital University in the professional community and offer public lectures and talks and provide community service activities. The chair holder will receive a 25-percent teaching load reassignment to engage in scholarship. 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 the purposes of the endowed chair. The appointee may hold the chair for a six-year term, subject to annual review and reappointment, and may be eligible for subsequent reappointment. The holder will submit a budget and an annual report of activity to the provost, academic dean or chair, and Geist Committee.

Selection Process

The Robert M. Geist Chair in Biological Sciences will be appointed by the president and officially named by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the appropriate faculty, chair of the biology department, and provost. The Geist Committee, which will include the chairs or designees of the natural science departments and a representative from the provost’s office, will review nominations for the chair and recommend one or more candidates for appointment.

Ongoing Evaluation and Guidance

The chair holder will lead the Geist Committee and will submit a budget and an annual report of activity to the provost, the biology department chair, and the Geist Committee. The Geist Committee, led by the chair holder and assisted by a liaison from the Advancement division, will provide ongoing guidance to the chair holder on matters related to the endowed chair. The Geist Committee will also provide recommendations to the provost regarding review and reappointment as described above.