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Faculty and Staff

Biologist Schulte Named Head of Biological Sciences at NC State

Bruce Schulte working on a fence
Bruce Schulte puts up a line of Kasaine metal strip fencing around maize fields at a research site in southeastern Kenya.

Bruce Schulte, a prominent biologist and higher education administrator, has been named head of the Department of Biological Sciences, effective Aug. 1. Schulte will join NC State from Western Kentucky University, where he has been serving as associate vice president for strategy, performance and accountability and university distinguished professor for the past five years.

As head of the department, Schulte will oversee academic, administrative and budgetary matters for approximately 2,100 students and about 150 faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars in one of the largest academic departments at NC State. Established in 2013, the department offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, minors and concentrations, and research programs in many areas of the biological sciences, including genetics, microbiology, toxicology, evolutionary biology, global health, forensic science, paleontology and zoology.

Bruce Schulte
Bruce Schulte

Schulte has extensive experience as a research biologist and as a leader in public higher education. In his current role, he oversees Western Kentucky’s strategic planning initiatives, which includes the ongoing implementation and assessment of the university’s 10-year strategic plan. From 2009 to 2019, he was head of Western Kentucky’s Department of Biology, where he was responsible for a $3 million budget, infrastructure improvements and personnel development for a unit with more than 30 faculty and staff. During this time, he led collaborative efforts to create a departmental strategic plan. Schulte has also held faculty positions at Georgia Southern University and Providence College.

Schulte’s research focuses on communication and social behavior of herbivorous mammals, such as elephants, manatees, beavers and horses. His recent efforts have aimed to reduce human-wildlife conflict by studying the behavioral ecology of these species, specifically their modes of communication, reproductive patterns and social systems. His awards and honors include the Richard Buchholz Conservation Behavior Award from the Animal Behavior Society, as well as the Prolific Proposer Award from Western Kentucky’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

Schulte received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the College of William and Mary and the University of Southern California, respectively. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry.