WMU News

Trustees approve personnel appointments

Sept. 18, 2004

KALAMAZOO--The appointments of an associate vice president for research and a new associate dean were among the personnel moves approved Sept. 17 by the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.

Trustees approved the appointments of: Dr. Katherine E. Cummings as interim associate dean for academic services in the College of Education, effective July 19, 2004, through June 30, 2005; Thomas L. Deckard as interim chairperson of the faculty in the College of Aviation, effective Aug. 2, 2004, through June 19, 2005; and Elaine M. Williams as director of Miller Auditorium, effective Aug. 6, 2004.

In addition, they approved the previously announced appointment of Dr. Leonard C. Ginsberg as associate vice president for research, effective Aug. 1, 2004.

Cummings, who has lead WMU's School University Partnership Team--SUPT--since 2001, first came to WMU in 1999 as an associate professor of teaching, learning and leadership. Prior to that, she was a faculty member at North Dakota State University for nine years. She also has taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Illinois. She earned a bachelor's degree from Moorhead State University in 1976, a master's degree from North Dakota State in 1984 and a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois in 1989.

Deckard retired from WMU in 1999 after 25 years of service, but is returning for a one-year appointment. He first joined the University faculty as an instructor in the Department of Transportation Technology in 1977, after holding temporary positions between 1974 and 1977. In 1989, he served as interim chairperson of the Department of Engineering Technology and later changed departmental affiliation, becoming a part of the aviation faculty in 1992. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in 1967 and 1975, respectively.

In related action, the board approved continuation of appointments for Dr. Jack R. Luderer as vice president for research, effective Aug. 12, 2004, and Dr. William R. Wiener as dean of the Graduate College, effective Aug. 12, 2004, through June 19, 2005. Both began their appointments in 2002, when Dr. Donald E. Thompson, who held both posts, left the University for a two-year stint with the National Science Foundation. He has extended his commitment to that agency and is now serving as NSF's deputy assistant director for education and human resources.

Related story
Elaine Williams takes charge at Miller Auditorium

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

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