Two candidates named finalists for Graduate College dean

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KALAMAZOO--Two longtime members of the faculty and administration have been named finalists in the search for a new dean of Western Michigan University's Graduate College.

Dr. Gene Freudenburg, interim dean of the Graduate College and chair of the Department of Mathematics, and Dr. Susan Stapleton, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of both chemistry/biochemistry and biological sciences, are the selected candidates. Each will make public presentations this month from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Room 1010 of the Fetzer Center on the topic "What is the role of the Graduate College dean in advancing graduate education at Western Michigan University?"

  • Stapleton will speak Tuesday, March 13.
  • Freudenburg will speak Wednesday, March 14.

Western Michigan University's Graduate College is home to nearly 100 programs--67 at the master's level and 29 that lead to a doctoral degree. Graduate students at WMU make up more than 20 percent of the student body and have their academic homes in six of the University's seven degree-granting colleges.

Freudenburg joined the WMU faculty in 2006 when he was appointed department chair and professor of mathematics. He has led WMU's extensive graduate programming since April 2010 while the University has searched for a permanent replacement for Dr. Lewis Pyenson, who returned to the faculty that year. Freudenburg came to WMU from the Pott College of Science and Engineering at the University of Southern Indiana, where he was professor of mathematics and assistant dean. He was named that university's 2004 Distinguished Professor, which is the school's highest recognition for faculty. A member of the USI faculty from 1995 to 2006, he previously served as a faculty member at Ball State University. Freudenburg is a prolific researcher and the author of numerous professional articles as well as a book published by Springer-Verlag in 2006. He also serves as a reviewer for several mathematics journals and was the recipient of a research grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2001. Additionally, he has been a visiting professor at the University of Burgundy in France and Switzerland's University of Basel. He earned a bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University in 1982, a master's degree from Saint Louis University in 1986 and a doctoral degree from Washington University, Saint Louis in 1992.

Stapleton has served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences since 2007, and her areas of responsibility include oversight of curriculum, assessment, accreditation, enrollment and diversity programs. She joined the WMU faculty in 1989 and has conducted extensive federally funded research in biochemistry with grants from such agencies as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Diabetes Research and Education Foundation. Her focus has been on gene expression and understanding diabetes and insulin resistance. As a member of the WMU faculty, she has served as a visiting scientist at Pharmacia Corp., and since 1997, she also has been director of co-op and internship opportunities in chemistry. Stapleton's background includes a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa and American Heart Association and NIH postdoctoral fellowships at Case Western Reserve University. She earned a bachelor's degree from Juniata College in 1979 and a doctorate from Miami University in 1983.