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WMU News

Trustees sign off on University personnel moves

March 1, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Acting at its Feb. 27 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved the appointments of two associate vice presidents, an interim associate dean, two departmental chairpersons and a chief of staff for one of WMU's premier research units.

Trustees approved the appointments of Dr. Osama Abudayyeh as interim associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, effective Jan. 6; Dr. Ronald J. Davis as associate vice president for academic affairs, effective Jan. 5; Dr. Paul Engelmann as chairperson of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, effective Oct. 7, 2003; Dr. Gary Miron as chief of staff of the Evaluation Center and tenured professor of teaching, learning and leadership, effective Sept. 1, 2003; Dr. Alan D. Poling as interim chairperson of the Department of Mathematics, effective Feb. 11, 2004 through June 5, 2005; and Dr. Jay Wood as associate vice president for academic affairs and director of academic collective bargaining, effective Jan. 5.

Osama Abudayyeh has been a faculty member since 1996, is currently an associate professor of civil and construction engineering, and holds professional engineer certification in four states. Prior to joining the WMU faculty, he taught for two years at North Dakota State University and was an engineer for nearly three years with the California Department of Transportation. He earned his bachelor's degree from Kuwait University, his master's degree from the University of California-Berkeley and his doctoral degree from North Carolina State University. He replaces Dr. Molly Williams, who retired in Jan. 6.

Ronald J. Davis will keep his current position as director of the Diether H. Haencike Institute for International and Area Studies, a position he has held since July of 2000, while he takes on additional duties as associate vice president for academic affairs, focusing on personnel and resource issues. He has been a WMU faculty member since 1966 and served as chairperson of the Department of History from 1992 to 1999. Davis earned a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in 1964 and master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University in 1965 and 1968, respectively. He replaces Dr. Roberta Allen, who has returned to the faculty.

Paul Engelmann has served as interim chairperson of his department since September 2002. He joined the faculty full time in 1987 after teaching part time for four years and serving as a teaching assistant for one year. A specialist in plastics engineering and injection molding, he revamped WMU's plastics technology courses and introduced new courses in plastics tooling and engineering composites. He also serves as principal investigator of an injection molding consortium. Engelmann earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from WMU. He replaces Dr. Michael Atkins, who now serves as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Gary Miron has been a principal research associate with the Evaluation Center since 1997 and is a specialist in evaluating school reform initiatives. He has served as project manager for the evaluations of charter school initiatives in Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois and the city of Cleveland. Prior to coming to WMU, he spent 10 years working in Sweden as a researcher and director of studies at Stockholm University's Institute of International Education. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University in 1983, a graduate diploma in social science from Stockholm University in 1988 and a doctoral degree from that university in 1994. He replaces Dr. Arlen Gullickson, who was named director of the Evaluation Center in 2002.

Alan D. Poling, a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology since 1977, has been serving as interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2003. His primary research interests are psychopharmacology and behavior analysis, and his work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education. He was named a WMU Distinguished Faculty Scholar in 1996. Poling earned his bachelor's degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in 1972, his master's degree from West Virginia University in 1974 and his doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota in 1977. Poling replaced Dr. Jay Wood, whose appointment as associate vice president for academic affairs was also approved by the board Feb. 27.

Jay Wood came to WMU in 2000 as professor and chairperson of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, a position he held for a year. After the department split into two units in 2001, he continued as chairperson of the Department of Mathematics. His primary area of research is algebraic coding theory. Wood earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1976 and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California-Berkeley in 1978 and 1982, respectively. Prior to coming to WMU, Wood taught at Purdue University, Lehigh University and Bowdoin College. He currently is a member of the Committee on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Employment Security of the American Mathematical Society. He replaces Dr. Chester Rogers, who retired from the position Jan. 4.

In related action, the board approved the return to the faculty of two department chairpersons and the retirements of six staff members. Dr. S. Hossein Mousavinezhad has returned to the faculty, effective Feb. 17, after serving as the chairperson of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 1995. William Rantz has returned to the faculty in the College of Aviation after serving as the college's faculty chairperson since 2002.

Staff retirements

The board also approved the retirements of six staff members and a change in the effective date for one previously announced staff retirement. Their names, positions, years of service and effective retirement dates are: Francine L. Adams, senior clerk in the Office of Information Technology, 15 years, effective Feb. 18, 2004; Dr. John A. Ferguson, director of the Paper Technology Foundation, 10 years, effective Feb. 15, 2004; Jolene V. Jackson, director of International Student and Scholar Services, 37 years, effective May 31, 2004; Ruth E. Mader, finance assistant for the Bernhard Center, 27-1/2 years, effective Feb. 29, 2004; Jo Anne McCrumb, coordinator of purchasing, 16-1/2 years, effective Feb. 2, 2004; Jack A. Rowgo, millwright/maintenance mechanic in the Physical Plant, 10 years, effective June 30, 2004; and Sarah A. Sims, custodian in building, custodial and support services, 13 years, effective (revised date) May 31, 2004.

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


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