Terry David Bateman and Bradley Rowland are the two chemistry professors accused of cooking meth. They both teach at Henderson State University in Arkansas and were arrested on November 15, 2019.
A university spokesperson said that Bateman and Rowland have been on administrative leave since October 11. They were both still listed as associate professors on the university’s website as of November 17. Henderson State is located in Arkadelphia, which is southwest of Little Rock.
The arrest has prompted comparisons to the AMC series Breaking Bad, which featured a high school chemistry teacher who began manufacturing meth to earn extra income after being diagnosed with lung cancer. In an ironic twist, Rowland actually talked about his love for the show in a feature for Henderson State University’s student newspaper in 2014.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Bateman & Rowland Were Both Placed On Leave Three Days After a Chemical Spill In a University Science Center
A chemical spill at Henderson State University’s Reynolds Science Center made headlines back in October. Local news outlet KATV reported that the building was evacuated and shut down after an employee detected a chemical odor on October 8.
The spill had happened in a third flor lab. Investigators determined that the chemical was benzyl chloride, which a hazardous material used to make pharmaceutical products. It is also used as an ingredient to cook methamphetamine.
Bateman and Rowland were both placed on leave on October 11, according to Henderson State spokesperson Tina Hall. The Reynolds Science Center was reopened on October 29 after it was thoroughly cleaned and ventilated.
2. The University Did Not Specify Whether Bateman & Rowland Were Accused Of Using a School Lab to Manufacture Meth
Terry Bateman and Bradley Rowland have both been charged with manufacturing meth and use of drug paraphernalia. They were arrested on November 15 and booked into the Clark County Jail.
As of November 17, Rowland had bonded out of custody. Inmate records showed that Bateman remained behind bars.
It was not immediately clear whether Bateman and Rowland were specifically accused of using a school laboratory to cook meth. But Henderson State University spokesperson Tina Hall said that the chemical spill that happened in October was part of an ongoing investigation.
3. Bradley Rowland Described ‘Breaking Bad’ As a ‘Wonderful Recruiting Tool’ For Increasing Student Interest In Chemistry
Bradley Rowland was a big fan of the AMC series Breaking Bad starring Bryan Cranston. In a 2014 article for the Henderson State student newspaper, the Oracle, Rowland said he felt that the series had inspired more students to get excited about chemistry. “I thought it was a great show. It was spot-on and accurate when it came to the science, and, it has gotten a younger, newer generation interested in chemistry. I feel like it was a wonderful recruiting tool.”
Rowland told the newspaper that he developed his own love of chemistry as a high school student. He credited a teacher for “turning him loose” in the lab and allowing him to run experiments. Rowland went on to earn multiple degrees in the field of chemistry. His degrees include:
- Bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from Texas A&M
- Master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin
- Master’s degree in financial engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology
- Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin
Rowland participated in a Q&A session with other Henderson State professors in 2014. He explained why he became a professor: “I enjoy helping people and I love to disseminate science and scientific thinking… There is nothing quite like seeing a student make the connections between disparate concepts (i.e. the light bulb coming on). Additionally, working with young adults helps to keep my mind sharp!”
Rowland (jokingly?) added that if he wasn’t teaching, his other career choices would have been to host the show Family Feud or become a country singer.
4. Terry Bateman & Bradley Rowland Are Co-Advisors Of the Henderson State Chemistry Club
Terry David Bateman and Bradley Rowland, in addition to being colleagues in the chemistry department, are co-advisors for the school’s chemistry club. In March of 2018, they traveled with a group of students to New Orleans for the American Chemical Society National Meeting. According to a Henderson State University blog, Bateman and Rowland accepted two awards during the event: ACS Outstanding Student Affiliate chapter award and the Green Chapter Award.
Bateman has been teaching at Henderson State University for more than a decade. He was recognized for his years of service at a ceremony in April of 2019.
According to his Facebook page, Bateman is also an alum of Henderson State. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2003. Bateman earned his Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Arkansas in 2009.
5. Bateman & Rowland Are Both Still Employed at Henderson State
Terry Bateman and Bradley Rowland both still appear to be employees of Henderson State University. As of November 17, they’re both listed on the university’s website as faculty members.
In addition to his role as an associate professor of chemistry, Bateman serves as the Director of Undergraduate Research for the department.
Rowland is also listed as an associate chemistry professor.