WSU Tri-Cities Dean to Step Down

PULLMAN, Wash. — James Cochran, dean and campus executive officer of Washington State
University at Tri-Cities, today announced he will step down as head of the Richland campus effective Dec.
31. A tenured mathematics professor, Cochran plans to remain at the Tri-Cities campus with new
administrative and teaching responsibilities.
Larry James, associate dean of WSU’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics, will succeed
Cochran as interim dean, according to Provost Gretchen M. Bataille.
Cochran was appointed Tri-Cities dean in 1989. He had been a member of the mathematics
department for 11 years on the Pullman campus and served as chair of the WSU Faculty Senate.
During Cochran’s tenure, WSU Tri-Cities has grown into a campus of 1,200 students, 55 permanent
and 300 part-time faculty, and 75 support staff. During the same period the teaching and research space
has increased five fold.
The development of community partnerships has been the hallmark of the progress of the campus,
Cochran said. Expansion of programs in education, engineering, sciences and agriculture have taken place
with support of the private sector and community organizations, with the dedicated involvement of faculty
and staff.
“The measured growth of the campus has been built upon relationships. It could appropriately be
named ‘WSU-Parternships-Tri-Cities.’ By that special feature, it has become what a branch campus should
be, a tightly woven thread in the fabric of the community,” Cochran said.
Bataille said, “Jim Cochran, as founding dean at WSU Tri-Cities, took a cooperative university center
involving five universities and molded it into a sound academic entity. He has built a strong infrastructure
for the campus and excellent relationships with the community and industry that have served WSU well
and will continue to provide a foundation for future growth.
“Larry James brings administrative experience and a broad-based background in both engineering and
agriculture that will help strengthen those programs in the Tri-Cities,” Bataille said.
James is a 1970 graduate of WSU and earned his doctorate in agricultural engineering from the
University of Minnesota. He joined the agricultural engineering faculty in 1977, becoming chair of the
department in 1987. He was named associate dean and director of academic programs in 1993, and has
served as interim dean of the college.