WMU News

Trustees approve academic personnel changes

April 23, 1999

KALAMAZOO--The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved the reappointment of an associate dean and the appointment of four new department chairpersons at its April 23 meeting.

Dr. James A. Leja was named associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services, effective July 1, 1999, through June 30, 2000.

In addition, Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua was named chairperson of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Bruce M. Haight was named chairperson of the Department of History, Dr. John A. Tanis was named chairperson of the Department of Physics and Dr. Thomas L. Van Valey was named chairperson of the Department of Physics. Those four appointments are effective July 1.

The board also approved the appointment of Dr. Charles F. Ide as director of the Center for Environmental Research, which was established by trustees in a related action at the April 23 meeting. The board also approved the previously announced appointment of James Culhane as head hocky coach in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Leja has been a faculty member in the Department of Blind Rehabilitation since 1986 and he has been serving as interim chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy since July 1, 1998. He was first appointed associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services in 1997.

Fuqua has been a WMU faculty member since 1976. He previously served as interim chairperson of the Department of Psychology in 1990-91 and has been the department's director of graduate training since 1994. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida. He replaces Dr. Howard E. Farris, whose return to the faculty also was approved by the board.

Haight, a specialist in African history, has been a WMU faculty member since 1970. He earned a bachelor's degree from Kalamazoo College and master's and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University. He also has studied African art at the National Museum of African Art and has done field research in Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. He replaces Dr. Ronald Davis, whose return to the faculty was approved by the board.

Tanis has been a faculty member since 1980. He is an internationally recognized physicist who specializes in the area of ion-atom collisions. He previously served as chairperson of the Department of Physics from 1989 to 1993. Tanis earned a bachelor's degree from Hope College, a master's degree from the University of Iowa and a doctoral degree from New York University. He replaces Dr. Robert E. Shamu, whose return to the faculty was approved by trustees in December.

Van Valey has been a faculty member in the Department of Sociology since 1977. He directed WMU's Kercher Center for Social Research from 1985 to 1989 and from 1991 to 1994. He is the director of the Michigan Alcohol and Other Drug School Survey project. Van Valey earned a bachelor's degree from Hanover College, a master's degree from the University of Washington and a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina. He replaces Dr. Lewis Walker, who is retiring.

Ide, who will direct the new Center for Environmental Research, came to WMU from Tulane University last fall. A specialist in the areas of developmental neurobiology and environmental neurobiology, he served as associate director of Tulane's Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon and master's and doctoral degrees from Princeton University.

In addition to those appointments, trustees accepted the resignations of these faculty members: Dr. Liwana Bringelson, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering; Dr. Lisa H. Martin, assistant professor of accountancy; and Dr. Jeanne M. Wiest, assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation.

In another move, the board approved a professional development leave for Dr. Danielle Wozniak, assistant professor of Social Work, effective Aug. 9, 1999, through April 16, 2000.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu


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