Professor behind body farm resigns to take job in Texas

The professor spearheading the effort to establish a forensic anthropology research center at Mesa State College has resigned to take a job in Texas, but officials said his departure shouldn’t affect Mesa State’s nascent program.

Michael Bozeman, an assistant professor of criminal justice, has been hired at the University of Texas, Mesa State spokeswoman Dana Nunn said Thursday.

She said Bozeman’s resignation was voluntary, and “he got a good opportunity” to teach in Texas.

Neither Bozeman nor John Redifer, head of the college’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, returned messages left Thursday.

Bozeman led Mesa State’s pursuit to create a body farm, a facility where criminal justice and forensic students and professionals can study the decomposition of human corpses donated to science.

Administrators initially planned to operate the facility on a 154-acre tract owned by the Mesa State Real Estate Foundation in Pear Park. They ditched that proposal after neighbors living within a few hundred feet of the site lodged concerns and complaints.

The foundation is scheduled to close next month on a 35-acre parcel near the Mesa County Landfill on Orchard Mesa. The land would become home to the body farm and the college’s program for electric-line workers.

Mesa State President Tim Foster has said he hopes to have the body farm up and running this fall.

Nunn said she doesn’t believe Bozeman’s resignation will delay the establishment of the body farm.

“I think it’s important to note that the intention was never for Michael to run the research center,” she said, adding the college will try to hire a forensic anthropologist to perform that job and intends to fill Bozeman’s position. Bozeman was one of four professors in the college’s criminal justice program.

“I still think we’ll be making progress on (the body farm) in the fall,” she said.

Nunn said Bozeman, who worked at Mesa State for two years, will attend an open house regarding the body farm next week.


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