WMU News

Four faculty members honored for excellence with named professorships

April 7, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Four additional Western Michigan University faculty members have been rewarded for their outstanding performance in teaching and research through a program established last year by WMU President Diether H. Haenicke.

Each has been selected for a "named endowed professorship" and will receive an annual stipend of at least $12,500 for the next three years, beginning July 1. The stipend is derived from the earnings of an endowment from private donations put at the discretion of the president.

"I am proud that we are able to honor some of our most distinguished and devoted faculty in this way as a result of effective fund raising," said Haenicke, who announced the selection during his "State of the University" address at the Academic Convocation March 31. "This coming fall we shall have a full complement of 10 such distinguished positions."

The four join six faculty members who were chosen for the honor last year. The endowed professorships carry the names of friends of the University and donors whose exceptional philanthropy has significantly increased the University's general endowment.

The four faculty members and their new titles are: Dr. Paul L. Maier, the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History; Dr. Michael S. Pritchard, the Willard A. Brown Professor of Philosophy; Herbert S. Scott, the Gwen Frostic Professor of Creative Writing; and Dr. Lawrence Ziring, the Arnold E. Schneider Professor of Political Science.

Haenicke, in consultation with the provost, deans and department chairpersons, selected the four faculty members from nominations by their colleagues at the University. Up to one-half of the stipend they receive may be used to augment their salaries. The balance is to be used for expenditures on appropriate professional endeavors.

Maier, a member of the history department faculty since 1960, is a widely published author on the rise of Christianity. His first documentary novel, "Pontius Pilate," was published in 1968 and, since then, he has written or edited 15 other books and more than 200 articles and reviews. In 1994, he branched out into contemporary fiction and published "A Skeleton in God's Closet," which became a number one national bestseller in the religious fiction category. Maier received WMU's Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award in 1981. Also known for his superior classroom skills, he earned the WMU Alumni Association's Teaching Excellence Award in 1974. Maier earned his bachelor's degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, his master's degree from Harvard University and his doctoral degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Basel in Switzerland.

Pritchard has been a WMU faculty member since 1968. In addition to chairing the Department of Philosophy from 1975 to 1987 and from 1993 to 1996, he has served as director of WMU's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society since its inception in 1985. He has written, edited or collaborated on 10 books, including the widely acclaimed 1991 volume, "On Becoming Responsible," which advances some novel ideas about moral development and how an individual becomes a moral, responsible person, and the well-received 1996 volume "Reasonable Children: Moral Education and Moral Learning." He also has written numerous articles for professional journals and made many presentations at conferences and workshops. Pritchard has received support for his work from several sources, including three awards from the National Science Foundation focusing on ethics in the engineering profession and on science and ethics in the schools. In 1995, he received WMU's Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. A graduate of Alma College, Pritchard earned his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Scott has taught in WMU's Department of English since 1968. He has written several books of poetry, including "Groceries" (1976), "Durations" (1984) and "The Wishing Heart" (forthcoming in 1999). His poems also have appeared in many periodicals, including Poetry, Harper's and The Kenyon Review. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1984, Scott has served as co-editor of two volumes of "Contemporary Michigan Poetry," a compilation of the creative works of some of the state's best poets. He currently is editor of WMU's New Issues Press Poetry Series, which is dedicated to publishing first books of promising new poets. Since its inception in 1996, the series has won praise from publishers, editors and poets for a venture that was greatly needed. Scott earned his bachelor's degree from Fresno State University and his master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa.

Ziring joined the political science faculty in 1967, served as director of WMU's Institute of Government and Politics from 1979 to 1993 and has directed the master's program in development administration for the last three years. A specialist on Asia and the Middle East, he also has studied U.S. relations with former Soviet bloc nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He has served on the boards of journal editors and as an official in organizations dedicated to Asian studies, particularly on Pakistan. He has written or edited 18 books and published more than 200 articles in scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers around the world. Six of his most recent books have been published in the last seven years, including the most recent, "Pakistan in the Twentieth Century," for Oxford University Press. Ziring has been a consultant or lecturer to a wide variety of U.S. and foreign government agencies and programs, including the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 1982, he received WMU's Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. Ziring earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.

The six faculty members selected last year for "named professorships" were: Dr. Raja G. Aravamuthan, the Gordon H. Sindecuse Professor of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering; Wendy L. Cornish, the Helen Frays Professor of Dance; Dr. Erika Loeffler-Friedl, the Edwin E. Meader Professor of Anthropology; David L. Rozelle, the Beulah I. Kendall Professor of Accountancy; Dr. Judith F. Stone, the Mary U. Meader Professor of Modern European History; and Dr. Daniel L. Stufflebeam, the Harold and Beulah McKee Professor of Education.

Media contact: Ruth Stevens; ruth.stevens@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400