Cooley named interim education dean, search launched

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Van E. .


KALAMAZOO--Dr. Van E. Cooley will lead Western Michigan University's College of Education and Human Development for the next year, while a national search is launched to find a new dean.

Cooley's appointment, made pending approval of the WMU Board of Trustees, is effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. He will guide the college while the University searches for a new dean to replace Dr. John Wheeler, who resigned last fall to accept a new position at East Tennessee State University. In addition, Dr. Katharine E. Cummings, associate dean of the college who had previously announced her return to the faculty, has agreed to stay on for another year in her current post.

Cooley has served as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology since 2006, and he has been a WMU faculty member since 1996. He previously worked as a middle and high school teacher and was an assistant superintendent and superintendent.

Working with teachers and administrators, he has developed state and national award-winning programs that include professional development initiatives, programs to address the needs of at-risk students and efforts focused on technology in the classroom. Since his 1996 appointment to WMU, he has been the co-principal investigator on nearly $9 million dollars in grants from the Wallace Foundation and the United States Department of Education.

Cooley earned bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral degrees from Ball State University.

In addition to the search for an education dean, WMU will launch a national search in the coming weeks for an associate provost to guide the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. The person selected for that newly created position will replace Dr. Donald McCloud, dean of the Haenicke Institute, who is finishing his five-year appointment in that position.