WSU Spokane announces administrative title changes

Washington State University Spokane Chancellor Brian Pitcher today announced that the titles of two senior administrative positions at the Spokane campus have been changed from associate dean to vice chancellor.

One of the positions affected by the change is that of Jo Ann Thompson, professor and former senior associate dean of WSU Spokane, who works closely with the chancellor to provide overall campus leadership and has direct responsibility for academic affairs at the campus.

Also affected is the position of Dennis Dyck, who will now serve as vice chancellor for research at WSU Spokane. Dyck is also being appointed as associate vice provost for research with the WSU Office of Research. In that capacity, he will work closely with WSU Vice Provost for Research James Petersen to advance the university’s research agenda on both the Spokane and Pullman campuses.

“The vice chancellor titles reflect the senior experience and broad scope of responsibility of both individuals at the Spokane campus and are consistent with concurrent changes at the Vancouver and Tri-Cities campuses,” Pitcher said. “We are fortunate to have such high quality leadership within the campus administration.”

Thompson has been with WSU since 1985. She moved to the Spokane campus as associate dean in 1998. Since then, the number of programs offered has doubled, and the number of enrolled students has more than doubled.

In addition to directing academic program development for the campus, Thompson is a professor of interior design in the Interdisciplinary Design Institute at WSU Spokane and coordinator of the Doctor of Design degree.

She served as chair of the WSU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design between 1992-1997 and 1985-1990, and as vice provost/acting vice provost from 1990-1992.

Thompson holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and Iowa State University. She has held leadership positions in disciplinary and professional organizations, and currently serves as editor of the Journal of Interior Design, the discipline’s leading scholarly journal. She was awarded fellow status in the Interior Design Educators Council in 1994 and in the International Interior Design Association in 1995, and was named IIDA 2002 Tatum Educator of the Year.

Dennis Dyck was named associate dean of research for WSU Spokane in 2001.

In that role, he coordinates the development of research collaborations between various WSU departments and the research community in Spokane.

Competitive funding for research has climbed dramatically since he assumed the position, and continues to increase.

Dyck is a professor of psychology and director of the Health Research and Education Center. For 12 years he served as the director of the Washington Institute for Mental Illness Research and Training (eastern branch), stepping down from that position in 2003. During his leadership of the institute, it received approximately $15 million in competitive grants and contracts.

Dyck holds adjunct professor appointments in the neurosciences program and College of Pharmacy at WSU, in the psychology department at Eastern Washington University and in the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He also sits on the boards for the Inland Northwest Technology Education Center, the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research and the Spokane Alliance for Medical Research. He received a bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific College, a master’s degree from Pepperdine University, and a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, all in psychology.

Associate dean positions at the Vancouver and Tri-Cities campuses are also being retitled as vice chancellor positions.