PULLMAN, Wash.–Gail Chermak, chair of Washington State University’s Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences since 1990, will be the interim dean of WSU’s College of Liberal Arts, Provost Gretchen M. Bataille announced Wednesday.
The appointment, effective Aug. 15, will run through June 30, 1998. A national search to replace John Pierce will begin with the naming of a search committee in September, Bataille said.
Pierce, dean of the college since 1986, is becoming vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
“Gail Chermak is well prepared to advance the college’s goals,” WSU’s new provost said. “She has served in various leadership capacities at WSU, is very familiar with our multicampus system, and appreciates the university’s goals for diversity and internationalization. And, importantly, she has the respect of her colleagues.”
Chermak joined the WSU faculty in 1977 after two years at Southern Illinois University. She was graduate coordinator in the speech department from 1983 to 1987, directed the department’s Communication Disorders Program from 1984-87 and chaired the department’s Graduate Studies Committee from 1987-90.
Under her leadership, the department has successfully developed a relocated graduate program to the WSU Spokane campus, expanded undergraduate and graduate enrollment, and established a nationally recognized Native American professional education program.
She has served on a number of key university committees including the Faculty Affairs Committee, which she chaired in 1986-87, the Faculty Status Committee and the President’s Commission on the Status of Individuals with Disabilities, which she chaired 1992-95. Among her college committee service were terms on the Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Reconfiguration Committee and the Multicampus Advisory Committee.
Chermak was WSU’s representative to the Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration in 1987. A Fulbright Scholar in 1989-90, she also held a Kellogg National Fellowship in 1986-89.
Chermak earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in speech and hearing sciences at Ohio State University in 1973 and 1975 respectively. Her bachelor’s degree is from the State University of New York, Buffalo.
A nationally recognized authority on central auditory processing disorders, Chermak has authored numbers articles and books chapters as well as two books, including the recent volume, “Central Auditory Processing Disorders: New Perspectives” and the “Handbook of Audiological Rehabilitation.”

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