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Trustees sign off on personnel changes

July 29, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Acting at their July 25 meeting, Western Michigan University trustees signed off on a personnel report that included the appointment of a new associate vice president as well as the previously announced appointments two college deans.

Trustees approved the promotion of Dr. Martha Warfield to the new position of associate vice president for diversity and inclusion, effective July 1. They also approved the previously announced appointments of David M. Powell as dean of the College of Aviation, effective July 1, and Dr. Daniel M. Litynski as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

In addition, the board also approved the appointments of Dr. Betty D. Dennis as associate dean of Extended University Programs, effective July 14: Dr. Paul Vellom as interim chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies, effective Sept. 1; and Dianna Hernandez as interim director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs, effective July 1.

Warfield has been the director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs since 1992 and was promoted to assistant vice president for student affairs in 2002. In 2004, she was tapped to head a presidential initiative on diversity, and late in 2007, WMU President John M. Dunn named Warfield director of the Office of Diversity and asked her to oversee a number of University initiatives including implementation of WMU's Diversity and Multiculturalism Action Plan; management of University affairs for the Kalamazoo Promise; presentation of the 2010 exhibit, "RACE: Are We So Different?"; planning of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation; and community development activities relating to recruitment of students.

Warfield came to WMU and the Division of Student Affairs in 1992 as a psychologist and associate professor in the University Counseling and Testing Center. She earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1961, a master's degree from the University of Oregon in 1969 and a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Michigan State University in 1979. She also was a postdoctoral fellow in MSU's Institute of Research in Teaching.

Dennis has been a member of the University staff since 1987. Her positions have included roles as coordinator in Career and Student Employment Services and as an academic advisor for the Haworth College of Business. She also was an advisor and coordinator for the Alpha and Gold programs in University Curriculum and later was appointed director of University Curriculum, a position she held until her appointment to the EUP post. She is a three-degree WMU alumna, having earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 1987, 1994 and 2007, respectively.

Vellom has been a faculty member at WMU since 2002 and has held appointments with both the Department of Teaching Learning and Educational Studies and the Mallinson Institute for Science Education. He came to WMU from Ohio State University, where he had been a faculty member since 1994. Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant and doctoral candidate at Michigan State University as well as a teacher at a number of junior and senior high schools. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego and a doctoral degree from Michigan State University.

Hernandez has worked in WMU's Division of Multicultural Affairs since 1987. In 1989, she became director of the University's King/Chavez/Parks Program, an initiative aimed at bringing junior and senior high school students from across southwest Michigan to WMU for a taste of college life. Before being named interim director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs, she had been serving as the unit's associate director. She is a 1985 graduate of WMU.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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