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Van Der Kley to replace retiring V.P. Rinker

by Cheryl Roland

April 12, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Janice J. Van der Kley.
Janice J. Van Der Kley
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KALAMAZOO--Janice J. Van Der Kley has been named vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer at Western Michigan University, effective July 1.

The high-profile appointment, along with two other administrative selections, was approved by the WMU Board of Trustees at its April 8 meeting. Van Der Kley will replace Lowell Rinker, who has held that post for the past four years and recently announced his plans to retire after nearly 40 years of service to the University.

Van Der Kley has been serving for the past four years as associate vice president for business and finance and University controller. Prior to that, she had served as associate vice president for finance since 2002.

A certified public accountant, Van Der Kley joined WMU's staff in 1983. She was assistant vice president for finance from 1993 to 2002 and previously headed internal audit as well as the operations area in institutional advancement. Van Der Kley earned bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from WMU in 1980 and 1986, respectively. She also has served as an instructor in the University's Department of Accountancy.

In another personnel move April 8, the board approved the appointment of Dr. James Gilcrhist as vice provost for budget and personnel and chief information officer, effective July 1. He replaces Dr. Bassam Harik, who has announced his retirement. Gilchrist has served since 2007 as vice provost for academic operations and chief information officer.

A member of the WMU faculty since 1980, Gilchrist previously served as chair of the Department of Communication--now the School of Communication. He was associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2000 to 2005 and for more than a year during that time, he was project manager and responsible for the University's implementation of a new student information system. In 2005, he was named director of student academic and institutional research. In that new role, he continued direction and development of the student information system, and added responsibility for supporting assessment initiatives and overseeing all institutional research.

Gilchrist is a specialist in organizational communication and communication ethics. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Oklahoma State University in 1970 and 1972, respectively, and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas-Austin in 1980.

The board also approved the appointment of Dr. Jose Brandao as chair of the Department of History.

A faculty member since 1997, Brandao specializes in the history of Northeastern North America to about 1783. His research focuses on Native-European relations in general, and upon the history, culture and interaction of the Iroquois Indians with their Native and European neighbors.

In addition to his position at WMU, Brandao is co-editor of a publication series on "The Iroquoians and Their World." He is also co-director of the French Michilimackinac Research and Project, a Mackinac State Historic Parks initiative that aims to identify and translate French language materials related to the early history of Michigan, especially of the Straits of Mackinac region.

Brandao earned bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Toronto in 1982 and 1984, respectively, and a doctoral degree from York University in 1994.