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CCCCD Names New Dean of Mathematics & Natural Sciences Division

APRIL 8, 2002- Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) recently named Dr. Leo Cameron Neal, Jr. as the new dean of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, with offices at Spring Creek campus in Plano. Dr. Neal was formerly with Temple College in Temple, Texas, where for the past two years he was director of the mathematics, natural sciences and physical education division, and for the past ten years he was chair of the mathematics department. During his career at Temple College, Dr. Neal created a new math lab, started a successful developmental education program and more than doubled the number of full-time faculty within the mathematics department.

At CCCCD, Dr. Neal inherits a busy division that has nearly 40 full-time faculty and close to 80 associate faculty; this spring semester, the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences collectively offered nearly 220 sections of college credit courses.

"I am already impressed by the professionalism and friendliness of the employees here at CCCCD," he said. "Though it is already a great department, with a great staff, I hope to offer my leadership and experience to help us achieve even more."

As the new dean, Dr. Neal is responsible for the total educational program offered through the division. He develops procedures, evaluates curricula, hires new faculty and approves class schedules. He provides academic and fiscal leadership and serves as a liaison with other divisions. In this capacity, Dr. Neal seeks to elevate the college's reputation as a leader in math and science.

"The key to doing this," he said, "is to facilitate an atmosphere in which all of us are excited about learning and to create opportunities where instructors and students alike can raise the standards of academic achievement."

Dr. Neal holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree in mathematics from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Texas at Austin. As part of his efforts to improve mathematical education over the past two decades, Dr. Neal has been a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Southern Central Calculus Coalition, a participant in the Texas Statewide Strategic Initiative, a collaborator in two projects for the National Science Foundation, and a writer for the national ACT college entrance exam.

At Temple College, in addition to being department chair, Neal was also a math instructor, teaching everything from basic mathematics through algebra II, trigonometry, analytic geometry, calculus I-II-III, and statistics. Dr. Neal brings the same energy and innovation to administration as he brought to the classroom for the past 20 years.

"I especially enjoyed teaching statistics," he said. "In that class we analyzed questions such as whether spaces in a proposed parking lot were smaller or just more variable in size than old parking lot spaces, and whether ten minutes was really enough time for students to get from one classroom to another. Those are the kinds of concrete problems that students can really relate to."

His predecessor, now Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Sheryl Kappus, had this to say about his addition to the college community:

"We are very pleased to have Dr. Neal at CCCCD. His strong academic background and varied experience will be very important in reaching our strategic goals, one of which is to provide our students with a world-class education."

Dr. Neal is a resident of Plano.