WMU News

Board approves appointments

July 25, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- The appointments of two department chairpersons and a director of planned giving were approved July 25 by the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.

Dr. Hideko N. Abe was selected as chairperson of the new Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages while Dr. Joseph R. Morris was named chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. Kenneth J. DeVries was appointed director of planned giving in the development office.

Abe has been an assistant professor of East Asian studies at Vanderbilt University since 1995. She also has taught at colleges and universities in Maine, California, Arizona and Colorado as well as at schools in Japan. The author of several articles for professional journals on such topics as Japanese women's speech, she has made numerous presentations at conferences throughout the United States and Japan.

Abe earned her bachelor's degree from Shikoku Christian College in Japan and her master's and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University. Her appointment, effective Aug. 11, 1997, includes a tenure track position as an assistant professor of Asian and Middle Eastern languages. The new department at WMU was approved by the Board of Trustees in April.

Morris, a WMU faculty member since 1984, has served as interim chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology for the past two years. His new appointment is effective July 1, 1997. He earned his bachelor's degree from Central State University in Ohio and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan.

DeVries served as director of planning giving at WMU from 1989 until 1996, when he resigned to become assistant vice president for major and planned giving at Georgia State University. His return to his WMU position is effective July 28, 1997. DeVries earned his bachelor's degree from WMU and his law degree from Cooley Law School.

In other action, the board approved the retirement with emeritus status of Dr. Robert L. Erickson, professor of speech pathology and audiology, effective Dec. 31, 1997. He has been a WMU faculty member since 1963 and served as department chairperson from 1977 to 1990.

The board also granted the retirements of these staff members, along with their years of service: Freida M. Amos, secretary in the School of Social Work, 24 years; Shirley Gordon, custodian in the building custodial and support services area of the physical plant, 11 years; and Bonnie J. Love, custodian in the building custodial and support services area of the physical plant, 19 years. All are effective July 31, 1997.

In addition, the board accepted the resignations of these faculty members: Dr. Janet S. Dynak, assistant professor of education and professional development; and Dr. Connie D. Ruhl-Smith, assistant professor of educational leadership. Both are effective Aug. 20, 1997.


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