Richard Dieker

Richard Dieker

Richard Dieker

Richard Dieker Professor
Retired in 2002

Personal Homepage

Education: B.S., M.S. Emporia State University, Ph.D. Michigan State University
Areas of Expertise: Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Leadership Development, Administration

About Me:

As a retired professor, I reflect back with satisfaction on my accomplishments while at WMU:

  • redefinition and growth of nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs in interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication;
  • a new undergraduate public relations major, and higher standards for all undergraduate and graduate majors and minors;
  • a top-notch faculty from major universities to bolster curricular and research efforts;
  • released time for research to promote faculty research projects
  • the phenomenal growth in the number of undergraduate and graduate majors
  • a visiting scholars program that brought prominent communication professors to our campus;
  • the bi-annual "Communication Research Bulletin", which promoted and publicized departmental faculty research projects;
  • most importantly, a departmental morale, with the help of all my colleagues who worked together with love and caring for each other, that was the envy of the university.

I am very gratified to see the health and growth of the department continued under new leadership, and has recently grown into a " School of Communication " including a Department of journalism and new Ph.D program.

After 35 years at WMU, 17 of which were spent as department chair, I retired to the West Palm Beach , Florida area in December 2001. We enjoy the year around great climate (except for an occasional hurricane), and all the activities, including our grandchild, Brielle, and daughter, Anne (Stokes), who live on Big Pine Key about 4 hours south of here. Heather (McCarty), our youngest, is married and living in Kalamazoo , and Beth (Bouwheis), also married, lives in Las Vegas .

After moving to Florida , I have become an expert on tropical gardening, swimming pool maintenance, and hurricane preparation (listen to my song, "Hurricane", on my website), but I leave the year round grass mowing and trimming to our lawn service. The grass grows year round down here, as you know. We enjoy traveling and meeting friends at Elderhostels and other trips to various places-from Stratford , Canada to Charleston , SC.

I also enjoy singing accompanied by my 6 or 12 string Taylor guitar and a drum machine. In 2004, I won the top senior (+55) gospel singer in the Florida Country Music Association of Palm Beach County, and was first runner-up in the senior country singer category. I recently put together my first original CD, which includes 8 of my original songs, and I play concerts in the Veteran's Park in Royal Palm Beach and at the Wellington Mall for the Royal Palm Cultural Center. They actually pay me to sing! I belong to several country music and acoustic musician's groups. My original songs can be heard, and downloaded for free on my web site: More songs to be added soon!

I also volunteer for Hospice of Palm Beach County, working primarily on special fund-raising events and assisting Judith, who manages a nearby upscale Hospice resale shop.

I enjoyed my years at WMU immensely, and I often reflect back on the good times and good people who passed through my life during that time. I also enjoy hearing from former students, colleagues, and friends, and my one regret is not being close enough to Kalamazoo and WMU to renew these friendships as often as I would like. Feel free to send me an email and let me know how you are doing!


School of Communication
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5318 USA
(269) 387-3130 | (269) 387-3990 Fax