WMU News

Provost Daniel Litynski recommended as interim president

Nov. 15, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees announced today their intent to recommend that Dr. Daniel M. Litynski, the University's chief academic officer, be appointed to serve as interim WMU president during the board's search for a successor to Dr. Elson S. Floyd.

The move was triggered by the Nov. 13 announcement that Floyd, WMU's president since 1998, is leaving the University to accept the presidency of the University of Missouri system. Floyd's resignation from WMU is effective Jan. 5, 2003. The appointment of Litynski, who currently serves as WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, would be effective upon Floyd's departure from the University.

"We expect to bring this recommendation to the full board at our Dec. 13 meeting," said Birgit M. Klohs, vice-chairperson of the WMU Board of Trustees, in making the announcement. "We are convinced that Dr. Litynski is the person who can successfully keep the University moving steadily forward on a number of critical fronts. Over the past three years, he has demonstrated remarkable administrative skills and deep commitment to WMU's mission and goals. As our provost, he already had begun assessing the challenges the University faces and developing strategies to deal with them."

Board Chairperson Richard Y. St. John said earlier this week the board will move quickly to mount a national search for Floyd's replacement and intends to have a new president in place in time for the start of the 2003-04 academic year.

"I would feel privileged to serve in this capacity, and I've told the trustees they have my total commitment to the task of continuing this great university's momentum," Litynski said of the recommendation. "Dr. Floyd put in place a tremendous senior leadership team for the University, and it will be with their assistance that we continue our important initiatives during this critical time of transition."

Prior to his appointment as provost in August, Litynski had served as engineering dean since 1999. His tenure in that role was 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.

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 at West Point, 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. 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.

Earlier this month, the Polish government awarded Litynski the Cavalier Cross of Merit for his efforts on behalf of Polish-American relations. That Nov. 12 award came just days after Litynski was elected vice-president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Education Society during the Frontiers in Education Conference, held Nov. 6-9 in Boston.

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

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