2010-11 Faculty Member of the Year Award: William F. Bailey

Dr. William F. Bailey was born at the vanguard of the “Baby Boomer” generation on December 8, 1946, in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father was the proprietor of a plumbing business in Jersey City. Dr. Bailey spent his Saturdays and summers from the age of 12 to 22 years old learning the business as he rose to the status of a journeyman plumber. However, this was not to be his calling.

Dr. Bailey graduated from St. Peter’s College in 1968, escaping both the plumbing business and the Garden State. He received his Ph.D. from the University Notre Dame in 1973 and completed a two-year postdoctoral position at Yale University. In 1975 he began his independent career at the University of Connecticut where he is now Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Bailey’s research interests lie in the development of new synthetic methodology for the construction of novel organic molecules using main-group organometallic chemistry. He also has a long-standing interest in the investigation of the mechanisms of organic reactions, molecular structure, and energetics.

Dr. Bailey has been chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Organic Reactions and Processes, chair of the ICOS-16 Symposium on Organolithium Compounds in Organic Synthesis, recipient of the American Association of University Professors Research Excellence Award at the University of Connecticut, and the Burlew Award of the Connecticut Valley Section of the American Chemical Society in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to chemistry”. He has held visiting professorships at Oxford University, Flinders University of South Australia, the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, and Yale University. For the past decade, Dr. Bailey has been a Visiting Fellow at Yale.

Dr. Bailey has taught virtually every organic chemistry course offered at the University of Connecticut during the course of his 36-year career and he has been awarded the University of Connecticut Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching.