Anthropology department to unite behind new name

By Linda Wilkins
Staff Writer

The anthropology, forensic science and archaeology department’s name is set to change to the anthropology department effective June 1.

“We feel that the title is not representative today, because we don’t have three separate majors in these fields,” Dr. Sara Alexander, anthropology department chair, said.

While there used to be a forensic science major and an archaeology major, the only major still in existence in the department is the anthropology major, she said.

Alexander said the current title of the department has caused confusion because high school students expect the department to have three different majors.

She said students searching online for forensic science or archaeology at Baylor will still reach the anthropology website because the department has courses that focus on those areas.

“We decided it was better all around to file for a name change and title ourselves ‘anthropology,’” Alexander said.

When the department was formed in 2005, it was named the anthropology, forensic science and archaeology department.

Alexander said there was a realignment of the forensic science major in 2006.

Today, students interested in forensic science could earn a minor in forensic science or a bachelor’s of science in anthropology with a forensic anthropology concentration, Alexander said.

In 2008, the archeology major was realigned and those courses were absorbed by the bachelor’s of art in anthropology degree, Alexander said.

The forensic science and archaeology courses did not go away, however, Alexander said. They remain under the anthropology major.

“It was a realignment of resources to be more effective,” Alexander said, referring to the changes that occurred in the degree programs.

Alexander said the upcoming name change is beneficial in that the department could obtain more grants because it will appear more unified with only one discipline listed in its title.