WMU News

Candidates for College of Fine Arts dean visit campus

March 29, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Four candidates being considered for dean of the College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University will visit campus starting Sunday, April 2, to meet with faculty, staff, students, community groups and the public.

The four candidates, their current positions, and the dates and locations of their public presentations are listed below. Additional information about each candidate follows the listing of public presentations.

Dr. Christopher P. Doane
Director of the School of Music, University of South Florida
Public presentation: Monday, April 3, Room 1021 Brown Hall, 4 to 5 p.m.

Dr. Peter Alexander
Dean of the College of the Arts, University of Southern Mississippi
Public presentation: Wednesday, April 5, Room 1021 Brown Hall, 4 to 5 p.m.

Dr. Margaret Merrion
Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Ball State University
Public presentation: Friday, April 7, Room 1110 Dalton Center, 11 a.m. to noon.

Dr. Ray Thorburn
Chief Executive Officer, Northland Polytechnic, Whangarei, New Zealand
Public presentation: Monday, April 10, Room 1021 Brown Hall, 4 to 5 p.m.

These candidates are being considered to fill the post held by Robert Luscombe, who retired in 1999. Janet Stillwell, the college's associate dean, has been serving as interim dean.

Dr. Christopher P. Doane

Doane, the first candidate to come to campus, has been at the University of South Florida in Tampa since 1982 and has directed the university's music school since 1995. Before becoming director, Doane was the music school's associate director from 1987-95 and coordinator of music education from 1984-95.

Doane received a bachelor of music education degree in 1974 and a doctoral degree in 1981, both from Ohio State University. He also received a master of music degree from the University of Akron in 1980.

Prior to joining the University of South Florida, Doane held positions at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University and at two Ohio public school systems. Doane will be present at a public forum from 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 3, in Room 1021 of Brown Hall.

Dr. Peter Alexander

Alexander's visit here begins Wednesday, April 5. He has been dean of the College of the Arts at the University of Southern Mississippi since 1996. Prior to that, he served from 1988-96 as dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he also was chairperson of the Department of Music from 1985-88 and a professor of music from 1967-85.

Alexander earned a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1965, a master of music degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1967 and a doctoral degree in education in 1982 from the Teachers College at Columbia University. A public forum with Alexander is set for 4 to 5:15 p.m. in Room 1021 of Brown Hall.

Dr. Margaret Merrion

Margaret Merrion will visit campus starting Friday, April 7. She has been dean of the College of Fine Arts and professor of music at Ball State University since 1990. Also while at the university, she served as acting dean and professor of music from 1989-90 and associate dean and associate professor of music from 1986-89.

Merrion earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Chicago State University in 1971 and a master's and doctoral degree in 1976 and 1989, respectively, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University in 1989.

Before joining Ball State, Merrion was associate professor and coordinator of undergraduate and graduate studies in music from 1981-86 at the School of Music at the University of Northern Iowa, where she also served as assistant professor and supervisor of clinical experiences in the Department of Teaching's Price Laboratory School, from 1978-81. She also worked from 1971-75 as a music educator at public and private schools at the elementary, junior high and high school levels. A public forum to meet Merrion is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday in Room 1110 of Dalton Center.

Dr. Ray Thorburn

Thorburn has been CEO and president of Northland Polytechnic since 1993. From 1990-93, he served as director of the School of Design at Wellington Polytechnic and from 1989-90 was officer in charge and curriculum project manager in the Training Development Section, New Zealand Police.

His other professional experience includes senior education officer and education officer for the Continuing Education Division of the Department of Education from 1985-89 and curriculum officer for the department from 1975-85.

Thorburn earned a diploma in fine arts from the University of Auckland in 1959 and a teaching diploma from Auckland Teacher's College in 1960. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in 1981 and 1974, respectively, from Ohio State University. A public forum with Thorburn is from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, April 10, in Room 1021 of Brown Hall.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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