Trustees sign off on administrative appointments
June 14, 2007
KALAMAZOO--The appointments of an associate dean, a new academic collective bargaining director and leaders for seven academic units were approved June 7 by the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.
Trustees approved the appointments of Dr. Ajay Samant as associate dean of the Haworth College of Business, effective July 1; Dr. Susan Caulfield as director of academic collective bargaining, effective July 1; Dr. David Ede as chair of the Department of Comparative Religion, effective Aug. 13; Dr. William S. Kern as chair of the Department of Economics, effective July 1; Dr. Gary Mathews as interim director of the School of Social Work, effective July 1; Dr. Timothy McGrew as chair of the Department of Philosophy, effective July 1; Dr. Mercedes Tasende as chair of the Department of Spanish, effective July 1; and Dr. Jay Wood as interim chair of the Department of Statistics, effective July 1.
Trustees also approved the previously announced appointment, with tenure, of Dr. David Colson as director of the School of Music, effective July 1. He replaces Dr. Richard O'Hearn, who will be retiring, effective June 30.
Dr. Ajay Samant, who has been chair of the Department of Finance and Commercial Law since 2003, has been a WMU faculty member since 1992. He is an expert in international finance. He also has served as a visiting professor at New Zealand's Massey University and University of Waikato, and he served for four years as a research officer with the Reserve Bank of India's Department of Economic Analysis and Policy. Samant earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Bombay in 1979 and 1981, respectively, and a doctoral degree from Indiana University in 1992. He replaces Dr. David Burnie, who will be returning to the faculty, effective Aug. 13.
Dr. Susan Caulfield came to WMU in 1990 and has been serving as director of graduate studies for the Department of Sociology since 2006. She focuses her teaching and research in areas such as conflict resolution, educational practices, juvenile crime, school violence, women and crime, crime and public policy, and crime data analysis. Caulfield earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of South Carolina in 1980 and 1983, respectively, and master's and doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Albany in 1985 and 1988, respectively. She replaces Jay Wood, who has been named interim chair of the Department of Statistics, effective July 1.
Dr. David Ede has been a WMU faculty member since 1980 and was a visiting professor at McGill University's Institute of Islamic Studies from 1981 to 1982. He edited and contributed to the book "Guide to Islam" and is in the process of writing a text titled "The Problem of Freedom and Determinism in Islamic Thought: From Political Theology to Mystical Philosophy." Ede earned a bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College in 1957, a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in 1961, and master's and doctoral degrees from McGill University in 1967 and 1978, respectively. He replaces Dr. Brian Wilson, who will be returning to the faculty, effective Aug. 13, 2007.
Dr. William S. Kern has served as interim chair of economics since 2005 and has been a WMU faculty member since 1987. His areas of specialization include microeconomics, comparative economic systems, and environmental and natural resource economics. He also has written and made presentations on the impact of sports franchises and new stadiums on regional economics. Prior to coming to WMU, he taught at Franklin and Marshall College for five years and also held faculty positions at Colorado State and Emporia State universities. He earned a bachelor's degree from Florida International University in 1976, a master's degree from Louisiana Sate University in 1978 and a doctoral degree from Colorado State in 1982.
Dr. Gary Mathews has served as interim director since 2006, and joined the School of Social Work faculty in 1976. He has served as president for the WMU Chapter of AAUP, as managing editor of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and as a family counselor at Family and Children Services of Kalamazoo. He teaches practice and research courses, specializing in both clinical group work and task groups. Mathews has published and given national presentations in the areas of program evaluation, group work, human sexuality, politics, faculty unions and employee assistance programs. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1966 from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University in 1968 and a doctoral degree from WMU in 1989.
Dr. Timothy McGrew, who has served as interim philosophy chair since 2005, has been a faculty member since 1992. He is a philosopher whose areas of expertise include the history of modern philosophy, the theory of knowledge, logic, and the history and philosophy of science. He is the author of the 1995 book, "The Foundations of Knowledge," and numerous journal articles and professional presentations. He earned a master's degree from the University of Scranton and a master's and doctoral degree from Vanderbilt University in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
Dr. Mercedes Tasende, who has served as interim chair of the Spanish department since 2006, came to WMU in 1991. A native of Spain, she is a specialist in early 20th-century Spanish literature, and she is currently conducting research on Unamuno and Spanish Civil War literature. Tasende has been advisor for WMU's master's and doctoral programs in Spanish since 2000 as well as the director and coordinator of the University's summer study abroad program in Santander, Spain, since 2004. She earned a doctoral degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991, a master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1986, and a licenciada from Spain's University of Santiago de Compostela in 1982.
Dr. Jay Wood came to WMU in 2000 when he was named chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Before that, he had served since 1992 as a faculty member at Purdue University's Calumet campus. He also taught at the University of Notre Dame, Lehigh University and Bowdoin College, and he 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 a 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. He replaces Dr. Daniel Mihalko, who will be retiring, effective June 30.
Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org