Trustees OK several major appointments
July 26, 2006
KALAMAZOO--Acting during its July 14 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a variety of personnel actions.
Trustees put their stamp of approval on the previously announced appointments of a new provost and vice president for academic affairs and new deans for both the Haworth College of Business and for Extended University Programs. The board also approved the appointment of a new vice provost, the one-year appointment of a dean for the College of Health and Human Services and the appointments of four department chairs in addition to a variety of other administrative personnel actions.
The board approved the previously announced appointments of: Dr. Janet I. Pisaneschi as provost and vice president for academic affair, effective May 30; Dr. P. David Shields as dean of the Haworth College of Business, effective Aug. 1; and Dr. Darrell Johnson as dean of Extended University Programs, effective June 19.
Trustees also approved the appointments of Dr. James Gilchrist as vice provost for academic operation, effective July 1; Dr. Earlie Washington as dean of the College of Health and Human Services, effective June 19; Dr. Van Cooley as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology, effective July 1; Dr. Gene Freudenburg as chair of the Department of Mathematics, effective July 1; Dr. Donald Gribben as chair of the Department of Accountancy, effective July 1; and Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah as chair of the Department of Geography, effective July 1.
In related action, trustees approved a return to the faculty for three people who had been serving in administrative positions. Dr. Terrell Hodge, associate professor of mathematics, has been serving as interim chair of her department. David Rozelle and Dr. Jack Ruhl, both professors of accountancy, served recently as interim chair and chair, respectively, of their department. All three will return to the faculty, effective July 31.
Dr. James Gilchrist moves into his new position as vice provost after serving since 2005 as director of student academic and institutional research. He has been a member of the WMU faculty since 1980 and served as chair of the Department of Communication from 1993 to 1999. He also has served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and spent more than a year overseeing the University's implementation of a new student information system as the project manager. A specialist in organizational communication and communication ethics, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Oklahoma State University in 1970 and 1972, respectively, and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas-Austin in 1980.
Dr. Earlie Washington has accepted an appointment as dean of the College of Health and Human Services while the University continues its national search for a replacement for former dean, Dr. Janet Pisaneschi, who had planned to retire this summer, but is now serving as WMU provost. Washington has been a member of the faculty and director of the School of Social Work since 2000. Previously, she was director and associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she had been a faculty member since 1992. She also has taught at the University of Chicago, Illinois State University and Tougaloo College. In addition, she has served in a variety of roles such as director of the Life Skills Pre-Employment Training and Counseling Program in Chicago and director of an elderly support project, also in Chicago. She has extensive experience directing funded grant and contract projects and is widely published on such topics as Internet-based instruction and behavioral programming for Alzheimer's clients. She earned her bachelor's degree from Tougaloo College, a master's degree from Ohio State University and her doctoral degree from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Van Cooley, the new chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology, has been a WMU faculty member since 1996. Before coming to the University, he had a 22-year career in positions ranging from teacher to school superintendent in Marion and Westfield, Ind. An expert in staff development and technology infrastructure issues, Cooley earned bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral degrees from Ball State University. He served previously served as department chair from 1999 to 2001.
Dr. Gene Freudenburg, who will lead the Department of Mathematics, comes to WMU from the Pott College of Science and Engineering at the University of Southern Indiana, where he was professor of mathematics and assistant dean. A member of the USI faculty since 1995, he previously had been a faculty member at Ball State University. He earned a bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University in 1982, a master's degree from Saint Louis University in 1986 and a doctoral degree from Washington University, Saint Louis in 1992.
Dr. Donald Gribben, the new chair of the Department of Accountancy, comes to WMU from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1989. His background also includes a teaching position at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater, a two-year faculty position at WMU, and professional accounting experience with General Tire & Rubber Co. and the accounting firm Bristol, Leisenring Herkner & Co. in Battle Creek, Mich. He holds bachelor's degrees from Bethel College and SIU, master's degrees from WMU and Dallas Theological Seminary, and an MBA from Ball State University and a doctoral degree from Oklahoma State.
Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah, who will lead the Department of Geography, comes to WMU from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he has chair of the Department of Geography since 2001 and a faculty member since 1991. He also has held faculty positions at Simon Fraser University in Canada and Ghana's University of Science and Technology, and elementary and secondary teaching positions in Ghana. In addition, he has held administrative positions with such higher education offices as student affairs and the registrar. Ofori-Amoah earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Ghana, master's degrees from Ghana's University of Science and Technology and the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and a doctoral degree from Simon Fraser University.
Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org