The decade of the 1980s saw changes, especially in personnel and in the course offerings of the Department of Zoology. Continually striving to upgrade, the Department experienced a slight increase in total faculty by decade's end. Throughout the 1980s, the entire Zoology program was housed in the Life Science II Building, occupying the entire third floor plus part of the first, second, and fourth floors.
At the start of the decade, Albert Somit was President of SIUC and Norman Doorenbos was Dean of the College of Science (COS). John Guyon, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research (and former COS Dean), appointed John Jackson as Acting Dean of the Graduate School. In Zoology, David Green became Storekeeper to fill the void left by the retirement of Dwight Throgmorton. Ronald Brandon was DEO (= Chair) as the decade began and remained in that position until 1987, when Lee Drickamer joined the Department to assume responsibility as Chair under then COS Dean Russell Dutcher.
During the 1980s, SIUC enrollment climbed from 22,700 to 24,000. The undergraduate General Studies Program was revised and given the title General Education Program. Zoology continued to teach some of the GE courses. Enrollment in the Department's undergraduate and graduate programs remained relatively steady year by year with approximately 260 undergraduate majors plus about 80 graduate students. During the '80s, Zoology graduated hundreds of students with a Bachelor's degree, 143 with a Master's (20 with research paper and 123 with thesis), plus 40 PhD students. Zoology faculty members also were actively involved in the interdisciplinary Biological Sciences undergraduate and graduate programs.
Added to the Zoology curriculum during the 1980s were Internship, Systematic Zoology, Wildlife Administration and Policy, Honors Research, Stream Ecology, Wildlife Diseases, Environmental Physiology of Fishes, Fish Stock Assessment, Advanced Fisheries Management, Advanced Fish Culture, plus Research Paper (for the non-thesis Master's option). Human Heredity and Evolutionary Biology were officially designated Zoology courses, having been formerly in the General Studies Program. Helminthology and Game Mammals (formerly available only to graduate students) were made available to upper-level undergraduates. Courses dropped from the curriculum were Work Experience, Biology of Human Populations, Concepts of Animal Behavior, Vertebrate Paleontology, Osteology, Advanced Taxonomy, and Zoological Literature. By the end of the decade, the doctoral preliminary examination was reorganized to focus on the specialty of each student rather than emphasize general zoological knowledge.
During the '80s, faculty that retired were William Lewis, Willard Klimstra, Edwin Galbreath, Jan Martan, and George Garoian. Departing faculty also included Bruce Peterson, Mark Ellinger, David Joyner, Anthony Paparo, Howard Stains, and Robert Stickney. Subsequently, additions were made to the faculty. Three long-term members of the faculty died during the decade: Hilda A. Stein, who retired from the department in 1962, died just a few days past her 90th birthday in 1985. Willard M. Gersbacher, who retired from SIU in 1966 (then from SEMO in 1972), resided in Cape Girardeau until his death in 1989; at SIU, he was Department Head from 1938-1955. The third was vertebrate paleontologist Edwin C. Galbreath.
In Fall 1989, the departmental faculty consisted of Terence Anthoney, Joseph Beatty, Ronald Brandon, Brooks Burr, Lee Drickamer, William Dyer, DuWayne Englert, George Feldhamer, William George, Roy Heidinger, David King, Christopher Kohler, Eugene LeFebvre, Michael McKee, J. E. McPherson, William Muhlach, Ann Phillipi, Daniel Roby, James Seeb, Robert Sheehan, Benjamin Shepherd, John Stahl, Thomas Tacha, George Waring, and Alan Woolf.