WMU News

Engineering dean chosen to be new provost

Aug. 14, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A retired brigadier general with an extensive background in high-tech research will take the reins of Western Michigan University's academic enterprise as provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Daniel M. Litynski, currently dean of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been named to the post by WMU President Elson S. Floyd. Litynski's new role at the University, which must be approved by the WMU Board of Trustees, is effective Sept. 1.

"We are indeed fortunate to have Dr. Litynski, a person with superb academic and research experience, able to assume the role of chief academic officer," said President Elson S. Floyd. "Over the past three years, he has done a marvelous job guiding our engineering college, and he has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to both the educational process and the role of the University in the region's economic development. As our provost, he will play an even greater role in enhancing our ability to accomplish key initiatives involving both of those important missions."

Litynski has served as engineering dean since 1999. His tenure has been marked by growth in the number of academic programs in his college and by a focus on the college's expansion and move to the University's Parkview Campus, where the new engineering complex is being constructed adjacent to WMU's Business Technology and Research Park. The college is expected to play a major role in sparking economic development in the region as well as expanding research and hands-on learning opportunities for faculty, staff and students.

"It is an honor and privilege to be asked to serve the people of Western Michigan University and the state of Michigan," Litynski said. "WMU is a public treasure with a wonderful history, a dynamic present and a bright future. We will continue to help all members of our learning community grow, think critically and lead in their chosen professions. We also will continue to be creative in how we do that as a student-centered research University in this time of global change and uncertainty. I want to thank President Floyd for the opportunity to contribute to the future of this great university."

As dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Litynski oversees a college composed of seven departments, offering 35 degree programs to more than 3,000 students. The college recently added the Department of Computer Science to its roster and launched its fifth doctoral degree program--one with an electrical and computer engineering focus.

Litynski, who also holds a tenured position as a professor in WMU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, came to WMU from the U.S. Military Academy, where he served as professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He retired as a brigadier general shortly before starting his work at WMU.

He has been active in research and teaching in electrical engineering, optics and physics for more than 25 years and has been particularly active in the field of laser and electro-optic research. Prior to assuming the role of department head at West Point, he had served there since 1980 as a research officer, assistant and associate professor and professor of electrical engineering. He also served as an assistant professor of physics at West Point from 1974 to 1978.

A native of Amsterdam, N.Y., Litynski earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965, a master's degree in optics from the University of Rochester in 1971 and a doctoral degree in physics from Rensselaer in 1978. In 1989, he was a U.S. Military Academy Fellow of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he studied international, national and industrial policy and operations, with a special emphasis in foreign policy and the electronics industry.

Litynski was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1965 and served with the armor and ordnance units of the U.S. Army in Vietnam and Germany from platoon to battalion levels. His career also has included a research position at the USA Ballistic Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen (Md.) Proving Ground.

His research has been published in numerous technical journals and has been presented internationally. He has served on a number of international advisory boards for such organizations as the UNESCO-supported International Centre for Engineering Education. In 1993-94, he served as the first visiting professor and external examiner in the New International Faculty of Engineering at the Technical University in Lodz, Poland.

Litynski replaces Dr. Fredrick Dobney, who resigned from the provost position in May.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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