June 26, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved the appointment June 23 of a new director for Miller Auditorium and OK'd a series of appointments to top-level academic posts at the University.
William R. Biddle was named director of Miller Auditorium, effective July 5, 2000. He comes to the University from the Detroit area, where he has served as executive director of the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts at Macomb Community College since 1992.
Trustees also approved the appointments of: Dr. Ronald Davis as assistant provost and director of the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies, effective July 1; Dr. Eileen B. Evans as associate dean of the Graduate College, effective July 1; Dr. Joseph G. Reish as interim dean of University libraries, effective July 1; Dr. Steven C. Rhodes as chairperson of the Department of Communication, effective July 1; Dr. William R. Wiener as senior associate dean of the Graduate College, effective July 1; and Dr. Jay A. Wood as tenured professor and chairperson of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, effective July 1.
Biddle will bring a 15-year track record in arts management to his new position at Miller. Prior to taking his current job at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, he served as executive director of the Givens Performing Arts Center at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke for three years. He also served earlier stints as production manager at the Givens Center; technical director and professor of theatre production and theatre management at North Dakota State University; technical director for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid, N.Y.; and technical assistant at the University of Michigan.
Biddle, who has served in leadership roles for a number of professional arts management societies, also is a consultant to theatres and schools around the nation. He earned a bachelor's degree from Glassboro State College in 1982 and completed course work for a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Michigan. He also is a 1995 graduate of the International Association of Assembly Managers' Public Assembly Facility Management School.
Davis, who has been a WMU faculty member since 1966, served as chairperson of the Department of History from 1992 to 1999. He has been directing the Haenicke Institute since last year and now is adding the role of assistant provost to his duties. He earned a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in 1964 and master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University in 1965 and 1968, respectively.
Evans has been assistant dean of the Graduate College for the past year, devoting 75 percent of her time to academic program review and 25 percent of her time to research administration. She joined the University as a faculty member in 1981 and has held a series of administrative posts since 1984. She earned a bachelor's degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and master's and doctoral degrees from Purdue University in 1970 and 1976, respectively.
Reish, who also is dean of the Lee Honors College, replaces Dr. Lance Query, whose resignation also was accepted by trustees at their June 23 meeting. A faculty member since 1972, Reish took over the reins of the Lee Honors College in 1993. He holds a concurrent appointment as a professor of French in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1966, a master's degree from Middlebury College in 1967 and a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1972.
Rhodes has been serving as interim chairperson of his department since last August. A faculty member since 1975, he is an expert in the field of organizational communication. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1970 and his master's and doctoral degrees from Pennsylvania State University in 1972 and 1975, respectively.
Wiener has served as chairperson of the Department of Blind Rehabilitation since he first came to WMU in 1986. Prior to that he was a faculty member at Cleveland State University for 12 years, serving as coordinator of that school's Blind Rehabilitation Program for his final eight years there. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Cleveland State in 1969 and 1978, respectively; a master's degree from WMU in 1970; and a doctoral degree from Kent State University in 1985.
Wood comes to WMU from Purdue University's Calumet campus and has just completed a semester on leave as a visitor to the University of Notre Dame's Department of Mathematics. He has been a faculty member at Purdue since 1992 and before that was a visiting assistant professor at Lehigh University, an assistant professor at Bowdoin College and a visiting assistant professor at Notre Dame. He also served for two summers as a faculty fellow at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.
Wood earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1976 and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978 and 1982, respectively.
In related action, the board also approved the resignation of Dr. Frank Rapley as dean of the College of Education and the return to the faculty of Rapley, who will be a professor of teaching learning and leadership, effective July 1; Dr. Timothy Light, who will be a professor in the Departments of Comparative Religion and Asian and Middle Eastern Languages as well as special assistant to the president for internationalization, effective Aug. 6, 2001; Dr. Michael Pritchard, professor of philosophy, effective July 1; and Dr. Eldor Quandt, professor of geography, effective July 1.
Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
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