KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Keith M. Hearit, professor of communication, will take on a new role as associate dean of Western Michigan University's College of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1.
Hearit's appointment was announced by Dr. Alexander Enyedi, dean of the college, in a June 18 message to faculty and staff. The move brings Hearit back to campus following a period away from WMU on leave and serving for the 2013-14 year as a fellow of the American Council on Education.
In his new position, Hearit will focus on research, discovery and creative activity within the College of Arts and Sciences. His areas of responsibility will be:
- Fostering student and faculty research and creative activity and enhancing collegewide discovery focus areas.
- Reviewing and approving grant proposals and serving as liaison to the Office of the Vice President for Research.
- Coordinating with college leadership to make graduate and doctoral assistant position allocations.
- Overseeing faculty and student research awards, information technology and travel authorizations and reimbursements.
Keith M. Hearit
A WMU faculty member since 1996, Hearit has served in a number of administrative roles at the University, including a three-year stint serving as associate dean and then dean of the Lee Honors College. He also spent five years serving WMU as vice provost for enrollment management. In addition, he has served on a variety of College of Arts and Sciences and Universitywide committees, including the Undergraduate Studies Council, the Medallion Scholarship Committee and the NCAA Recertification Committee. He also has served as a member of the Faculty Senate.
After earning both bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Michigan University, Hearit earned a doctoral degree in public affairs and issues management from Purdue University. Before coming to WMU, he taught at Northern Illinois University, Indiana University at Kokomo and Purdue University. He is an expert in crisis communication and issue management and is the author of more than 20 articles and book chapters as well as the 2006 book, "Crisis Management by Apology: Corporate Response to Allegations of Wrongdoing." He has a second book now in progress.
Hearit spent his ACE Fellowship year in a placement with the chancellor of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Each ACE Fellow works with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities.