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WMU announces candidates for next president

March 29, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Four senior administrators from universities around the Midwest have been identified as finalists in the search for Western Michigan University's eighth president.

The four, who will visit the WMU campus and make public presentations during the weeks of April 1 and April 8, are as follows. They are listed in the order of their scheduled visits to campus, along with the time, day and date of their public forums.

Dr. John Folkins, chief executive officer of the Bowling Green State University Research Institute. His campus visit will be April 1-3 and his public forum will be from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, in the Bernhard Center Ballroom.

Dr. John Dunn, interim chancellor of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. His visit to campus will be April 8-10, and his public forum is set for 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 9, at the tennis courts in the Student Recreation Center.

Dr. Bruce Shepard, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, was scheduled to visit campus April l0-12. He withdrew his name from consideration April 9.

Dr. Avijit Ghosh, dean of the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His visit to campus will be April 12-14, and his public forum is set for 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, in Brown Auditorium of Schneider Hall.

The final candidates were selected from among more than 80 early candidates who were considered by the search committee, which is made up of representatives of the campus and extended University community. The four were chosen after a round of off-campus interviews conducted earlier this month.

In addition to participating in public forums, each candidate will meet with a number of campus organizations and campus leaders over the course of their campus visits. Their schedules will include sessions with faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and administrators.


Dr. John Folkins, who took over as head of Bowling Green's Research Institute in January, previously served for seven years as provost and vice president for academic affairs at BGSU. He also is a tenured professor in the Department of Communication Disorders. Prior to moving to Bowling Green, Folkins held a variety of positions at the University of Iowa, beginning as assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology in 1977 and ending in 2000 as associate provost for undergraduate education, a position he held for three years.

He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in speech from the University of Redlands in 1970 and 1971, respectively, and a doctoral degree in speech and hearing sciences from the University of Washington in 1976. Folkins held predoctoral and postdoctoral research positions at Washington as well.


Dr. John Dunn, who was named Southern Illinois' interim chancellor in 2006, previously was provost and vice chancellor since 2002. An educator for more than 30 years, he was dean of the University of Utah's College of Health from 1995 to 2002. Before that, he was at Oregon State University for 20 years, last serving as associate provost there from 1990 to 1995. Also at Oregon State, Dunn was assistant dean of Health and Human Performance from 1987 to 1990, chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science from 1980 to 1987 and director of the university's Special Physical and Motor Fitness Clinic.

Dunn, who began his teaching at the University of Connecticut in 1972, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in special education from Northern Illinois University in 1967 and 1969, respectively. He earned his doctoral degree in physical education from Brigham Young University in 1972.


Dr. Avijit Ghosh has been dean of business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, since 2001. Previously, he held academic and administrative positions at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, including deputy dean, vice dean for professional programs, director of entrepreneurial studies and professor of marketing. Before entering academia, Ghosh was a market research analyst for Clarion McCann Advertising Services, a subsidiary of the McCann Erickson global advertising agency network, which has offices in more than 130 countries.

Ghosh's research and teaching interests are in the areas of retail and marketing strategy, sales forecasting and locational analysis. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1970 from Calcutta University and a post-graduate business degree in 1975 from Xavier Institute, both in India. He also earned master's and doctoral degrees in geography from the University of Iowa in 1977 and 1979, respectively.


A curriculum vita for each candidate has been posted to the Presidential Search Web site at www.wmich.edu/president/search.

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

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