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IU Northwest mourns the loss of former biology professor

John Dustman spent his entire career at Northwest campus

Photo provided
John Dustman, Ph.D.

Indiana University Northwest regretfully announces the passing of John Henry Dustman, Ph.D. a former biology professor who spent his entire career at the Northwest campus. Dustman, 71, passed away on December 26.

Dustman, whose obituary appeared in a South Carolina publication, served as chairman of the Biology Department for a time as well as interim director of the IU School of Medicine – Northwest.  Dustman served the campus from 1972 to 2003, when he retired from his post as Associate Professor of Zoology.

Patrick Bankston, Ph.D., IU Northwest Dean for the College of Health and Human Services and Assistant Dean and Director for the IU School of Medicine – Northwest, said Dustman was a pioneer of sorts in that he used human cadavers in anatomy and physiology classes for undergraduates in the College of Health and Human Services.

Dustman was instrumental in recruiting the first faculty for the IU School of Medicine – Northwest, all of whom served the university for many years and who are all retired now, according to Bankston. The medical school’s first class of four students graduated in 1976.

It was during those early years, when the Northwest branch of the medical school was being established, that Dustman served as interim director of IUSM-NW. The classroom was where he excelled, said Bankston, who recalled that Dustman was ahead of his time when it came to using electronic media for his lectures.

Associate Professor Emeritus of Biology Tim Stabler, Ph.D., who retired in 2004, served alongside Dustman teaching Anatomy and Physiology. The two worked together for about 30 years.

Stabler described Dustman as authentic and somewhat of a risk-taker, someone who never covered up who he really was.

“John was his own person,” he said.

Stabler added that, despite his jokes and colorful personality, Dustman took his teaching very seriously.

“If you passed his course, you knew your stuff,” Stabler said. He recalled that Dustman often threw in a question on his exams that had a “real, almost off-the-wall answer” that had not been covered in the lectures.

“If you had paid attention, you could put it together and come up with an answer,” he said.

Dustman earned his Ph.D. in endocrinology from Indiana University in 1966.

Dustman is survived by his wife, Nancy Price Dustman; sons Andy (Wendy McCormick) and Mark (Megan Porterfield); and mother-in-law, Lucille Price. He was active in his church, located in Batesburg, South Carolina.

IU Northwest extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of John Henry Dustman.


Media Contact

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

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Photo provided
John Dustman, Ph.D