Dr. Keith Hearit named interim dean of College of Arts and Sciences

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Keith M. Hearit.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Veteran academic administrator Dr. Keith M. Hearit, has been named interim dean of the Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences, effective immediately.

The appointment of Hearit, who has served as an associate dean of the college since July 1 , was announced Feb. 3 by Dr. Timothy J. Greene, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. Hearit will temporarily succeed Dr. Alexander Enyedi, whose contract expires in June and who has been assigned alternative responsibilities until his return to the faculty.

In an email message to the faculty and staff of the college, Greene praised Hearit's "extensive leadership experience" and thanked the new interim dean for agreeing to serve while a national search is conducted to identify a new arts and sciences dean. Greene also outlined the basic process that will be used for the search.
"Keith has a strong connection with and deep knowledge of the college," Greene wrote in his email. "I hope you all will give him your full support as we move forward through this transition period."

Keith M. Hearit

A faculty member in WMU's School of Communication since 1996, Hearit has served in a number of administrative roles at the University, including a three-year stint 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.

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