N. Douglas Lees, Ph.D.

Chair Emeritus of Biology


In my early years, my laboratory research focused on the yeast sterol biosynthetic pathway and its end product sterol, ergosterol, each of which represent major targets for antifungal drugs.

More recently, my interests have been directed at higher education change and how that impacts the work of department leadership.


  • 1973 Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Northwestern University
  • 1967 B.A. Biology, Providence College

Publications & Professional Activity


Lees, N. D., Chairing Academic Departments – Traditional and Emerging Expectations, Bolton, MA, Anker Publishing (now held by Jossey-Bass), 2006, 352 pgs. ISBN 1-933371-03-x.

Select Research Publications

Bard, M., Bruner, D. A., Pierson, C. A., Lees, N. D., Biermann, B., Frye, L., Koegel, C., and Barbuch, R.  Cloning and Characterization of ERG25, the Saccharomyces Gene Encoding the C-4 Sterol Methyl Oxidase. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA93: 186-190, 1996.

Pierson, C. A., Gachotte, D., Lees, N. D., Barbuch, R., Koegel, C., and Bard, M.  A Yeast Sterol Auxotroph (ERG25) is Rescued by Addition of Azole Antifungals and Reduced Levels of Heme. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA94: 11173-11179, 1997.

Jia, N., Arthington-Skaggs, B., Lee, W., Pierson, C.A., Lees, N.D., Eckstein, J., Barbuch, R., and Bard, M. The Characterization of the Candida albicans Sterol C-14 Reductase, Encoded by the ERG24 Gene, as a Potential Antifungal Target Site. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 46: 947-957, 2002.

Lees, N. D. and Bard, M. Sterol Biochemistry and Regulation in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Top. Cur. Genet. 6: 213-240, 2003.

Rogers, K. M., Pierson, C. A., Culbertson, N. T., C. Mo, A. M. Sturm, Eckstein, J., Barbuch, R., Lees, N. D., and Bard, M. Disruption of the Candida albicans CYB5 Gene Results in Increased Azole Sensitivity. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.,48: 3425-3435, 2004.

Select Administrative Publications

Lees, N. D. and Malik, D. J. Preparing New Chairs, Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Academic Chairpersons Conference The 21st Century Department: New Challenges, New Solutions, 51: 93-100, 2001.

Jenski, L. J. and Lees, N. D. Developmental Models for Chair Workload Delegation, The Department Chair, 12(1): 17-18, 2001.

Lees, N. D. The Evolution of Post-Tenure Review at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, In: Post-Tenure Faculty Review and Renewal: Experienced Voices, (Licata, C. M. and Morreale, J. C., eds.), American Association for Higher Education, Washington, DC, pages 97-110, 2002.

Evenbeck, S., Lees, N. D., and Chism, N. Campus to Department Collaboration in Promoting Student Success: The Critical Role of Department Chairs in Retention Initiatives, The Department Chair, 12(4): 24-26, 2002.

Chism, N. V., Lees, N. D., and Evenbeck, S. Faculty Development for Teaching Innovation through Communities of Practice, Liberal Education, 88(3): 34-41, 2002.

Lees, N. D. and Hook, S. A. Post-Tenure Review at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis: A Three Year Status Report, In: Post-Tenure Faculty Review and RenewalII: Reporting Results & Shaping Policy, (Licata, C. M. and Brown, B. E. eds.), Anker Publishing, Bolton, MA, pages 163-170, 2004.

Lees, N. D. and Malik, D. J. Creating External Partnerships to Enhance Department Relevance, Image and Fiscal Stability, Proceedings of the Twenty First Annual Academic Chairpersons Conference Choosing the Right Path among Many Options: Creating a Meaningful Niche, 54: CD, 8 pages, 2004.

Brown, B. E. and Lees, N. D. Planning Departments of the Future, The Department Chair, 16(1): 3-6, 2005.

Licata, C. M. and Lees, N. D. The Chair as Evaluation “Charlatan”, The Department Chair, 17(2): 16-18, 2006.

Lees, N. D. Rethinking Academic Advising, The Department Chair, 17(4): 17-20, 2007.

Malik, D. J. and Lees, N. D. Working Effectively with the Dean, The Department Chair, 18(3): 1-3, 2008.

Lees, N. D. and Vemuri, G. Interdisciplinarity: Moving Beyond Traditional Boundaries, Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Academic Chairpersons Conference, Defining Department Leadership: Engaging Academic Communities for Success, 58: CD, 10 pages, 2008.

Malik, D. J. and Lees, N. D. The Accountability Movement: Its Role, Opportunities and Meaning for Chairs, The Department Chair, 19(3): 3-5, 2009.

Lees, N. D., Malik, D. J. and Vemuri, G. Essentials of Chairing Academic Departments, The Department Chair, 20(2): 1-3, 2009.

Gilbert, B. L., Lees, N. D. and Rhodes, S. J. The Life-Health Sciences Internships Program: Research and Professional Experience Internships as an Undergraduate Retention Tool. In: R. Hayes (Ed.), Proceedings of the 5th National Symposium on Student Retention, 5: 404-410, 2009.

Lees, N. D. Developing Persuasive Arguments for Resources, The Department Chair, 21(4): 6-8, 2011.

Lees, N. D. Preparing for Your Departure as Chair, The Department Chair, 22(1):17-20, 2011.

Lees, N. D. The Limits of Advocacy, The Department Chair, 22(2): 5-6, 2011.

Lees, N. D. Leading Change: Anticipating and Dealing with Resistance, Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Academic Chairpersons, Conference, 62: CD, 12 pages, 2012.

Lees, N. D. Hiring New Faculty Members: Are Our Real Expectations Being Met?, The Department Chair, 23(2): 8-10, 2012.

Williams, J. and Lees, N. D. Evaluating Staff: An Overlooked (and Perhaps Avoided?) Chair Responsibility, Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual Academic Chairpersons Conference, 63: CD, 11 pages, 2013.

Lees, N. D. The Entrepreneurial Role of the Department Chair, The DepartmentChair, 24(3): 1-3, 2014.

Lees, N. D. Considerations for Successfully Managing Up, Academic Leader, 30(7): 1,6, 2014.

Lees, N. D. Maintaining Senior Faculty Productivity, The Department Chair, 25(2): 11-13, 2014.

Lees, N. D. The Case for Chairs Working Beyond Their Departments, Academic Leader, 30(10): 4-5, 2014.

Gilbert, B. L., Banks, J., Houser, J. H. W., Rhodes, S. J. and Lees, N.D. Student Development in an Experiential Learning Program, J. College Student Devel., 55(7): 707-713, 2014.

Lees, N. D. Facilitating Faculty Career Path Changes: What Chairs Can Do, The Department Chair, 25(3):  7-8, 2015.

Lees, N. D. Making Progress in Challenging Fiscal Times, Academic Leader, 31(3): 1,6, 2015.

Atkinson, S. and Lees, N. D. Creating and Supporting Best Practices in Student Retention, Proceedings of the Thirty-Second Annual Academic Chairpersons Conference, 65: 11 pgs., 2015. http://newprairiepress.org/accp/2015/Trends/3/

Lees, N. D. Rethinking Councils of Chairs, Academic Leader, 31(4): 1,6, 2015.

Lees, N. D. Using the External Program Review as a Lever for Change, Academic Leader, 31(8): 5,7-8, 2015.

Palmer, M. M., Lees N.D. and Dankoski, M. E., Conducting Effective Faculty Annual Reviews: A Workshop for Academic Leaders. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2015. Available from: https://www.mededportal.org/publication/10270   http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10270

Rhodes, S. J. and Lees, N. D. What Deans Expect from Chairs, The Department Chair, 26(3): 3-4, 2016.

Lees, N. D. Creating Space, Relieving Stress and Making the Job More Enticing: Suggestions for Academic Department Chairs, Academic Leader, 32(5): 4-5, 2016.

Lees, N. D. The Art of Framing in Academic Settings, Academic Leader, 32(9): 4-5, 2016.

Lees, N. D. The True Rewards of Administrative Service as a Department Chair: Potential Legacy Entries, The Department Chair, 27(2), 12-13, 2016.

Rhodes, S. J. and Lees, N. D. Dean, Chairs, and Faculty: A Team Approach for Enhancing Faculty Diversity, The Department Chair, 27(3), 11-13, 2017.

Lees, N. D. The Roles of Chairs and Deans in Promoting Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Initiatives, Academic Leader, 33(1): 4-5, 2017.

Lees, N. D. A Flexible, Incentivized Budgeting System for Academic Departments, Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Academic Chairpersons Conference, 67: 8 pgs., 2017. http://newprairiepress.org/accp/2017/Operations/15

Lees, N. D. and Malik, D. J. Student Retention (and Success): Effective Programs, Interventions and Strategies, Academic Leader, 33(6): in 4-5, 2017.


2007 - Present Advisory Board, The Department Chair, Jossey-Bass Pub.

2002 - Present Advisory Board of the National Chairperson’s Conference (sponsored by Kansas State University)

1998     University of Qatar Commemorative Medal

1995    Johnson and Johnson Focused Giving Symposium Invited Presenter