WMU News

Trustees approve appointments of three academic department heads

April 21, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The appointment of a chairperson for a newly formed unit in the College of Aviation as well as the appointments of new directors for two existing departments were approved by the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees at its April 20 meeting.

The board approved the appointments of: Robert J. Aardema as chairperson of the Department of Aviation Sciences, effective Feb. 22; Dr. Marie F. Gates as director of WMU's Bronson School of Nursing, effective July 17; and Dr. Robert A. Peters as director of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, effective July 1.

Aardema, a faculty member in the College of Aviation since 1979, has a background that includes work in both flight and aviation maintenance operations. He was first a pilot and then a maintenance officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1975, and he served for 17 years in the Michigan Air National Guard as a pilot, flight instructor and flight commander. He also worked in private industry as a pilot and flight department manager, overseeing the maintenance of company aircraft.

Aardema earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Hope College in 1969 and a master's degree in manufacturing administration from WMU in 1985. He also earned a diploma from the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College in 1989.

Gates comes to WMU from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she has been an associate professor in the School of Nursing since 1996. Prior to that, she was an associate professor at the University of Tennessee College of Nursing for four years. She also has served as a member of the nursing education faculty at Eastern Michigan University, as a nurse researcher at Detroit's Sinai Hospital, as a research assistant and faculty member at Wayne State University's College of Nursing and as a staff member for Detroit's Visiting Nurse Association.

Gates earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Wayne State's College of Nursing in 1962, 1965 and 1988, respectively.

She replaces Dr. Bernardine Lacey, the founding director of WMU's Bronson School of Nursing, who retired last year. Her appointment includes a tenured position as professor of nursing.

Peters has been a WMU faculty member since 1993. He came to WMU from Rutgers University, where he had been a faculty member in the Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration since 1987. He also has taught as a visiting instructor at Temple University and as an adjunct faculty member at several other institutions.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Elizabethtown College in 1976, a master's degree from the University of Texas in 1978 and a doctoral degree in urban, technological and environmental planning from the University of Michigan in 1988.

Peters replaces Dr. Ralph Chandler, whose return to the faculty also was approved by trustees at the board meeting.

In other personnel action at the meeting, trustees also approved the previously announced appointment of Robert McCullum as head basketball coach in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

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

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