WMU Provost Is Interim President

November 19, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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KALAMAZOO — Daniel Litynski, Western Michigan University’s chief academic officer, has been recommended by the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the school’s board of trustees to serve as interim president during the board’s search for a successor to Elson Floyd.

The recommendation was triggered by the announcement last week that Floyd would accept the presidency of the University of Missouri system. Floyd’s resignation from WMU is effective Jan. 5, 2003, and the appointment of Litynski would be effective upon Floyd’s departure.

“We are convinced that Dr. Litynski is the person who can successfully keep the university moving steadily forward on a number of critical fronts,” said Birgit Klohs, vice chairperson of the WMU Board of Trustees.

“Over the past three years he has demonstrated remarkable administrative skills and deep commitment to WMU’s mission and goals. As our provost, he already had begun assessing the challenges the university faces and developing strategies to deal with them.”

Board members said they felt the need to move quickly to mount a national search and want a new president in place by the start of the 2003-04 school year.

Prior to his appointment as provost in August, Litynski had served as engineering dean since 1999. His tenure in that role was marked by growth in the number of academic programs in the engineering college and a focus on the college’s expansion and move to the University’s Parkview Campus, where the new engineering complex is being constructed adjacent to WMU’s Business Technology and Research Park.

Litynski, who also holds a tenured position as a professor in WMU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, came to WMU from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he served as professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He retired as a brigadier general shortly before starting his work at WMU.

He has been active in research and teaching in electrical engineering, optics and physics for more than 25 years and has been particularly active in the field of laser and electrical engineering.

Prior to assuming the role of department head at West Point, he had served there since 1980 as a research officer, assistant and associate professor and professor of electrical engineering. He also served as an assistant professor of physics at West Point from 1974 to 1978.

“I would feel privileged to serve in this capacity, and I’ve told the trustees they have my total commitment to the task of continuing this great university’s momentum,” said Litynski. “Dr. Floyd put in place a tremendous senior leadership team for the university, and it will be with their assistance that we continue our important initiatives during this critical time of transition.”           

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