PULLMAN, Wash.–Walter Gmelch, a Washington State University education faculty member since 1980, has been appointed interim dean of the College of Education by Provost Gretchen M. Bataille.
Gmelch’s appointment, effective Aug. 15, runs through June 30, 1998. He succeeds Bernard Oliver who leaves WSU to become education dean at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Gmelch has been associate dean of education since 1995, and interim chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies since 1996. He also has chaired the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology and the Department of Educational Administration and Supervision.
A noted scholar and author in the subject of academic leadership in higher education, he serves as director of the Center for Academic Leadership which has conducted national and international studies of the offices of deans and chairs.
In addition to presenting more than 400 workshops throughout the United States and overseas, he has received numerous honors including a Kellogg National Fellowship and a University Council for Educational Administration Distinguished Professor Award.
Gmelch has been director of WSU’s Teacher Education and Certification Program and Administrative Program, and associate director of the Partnership for Rural Improvement conducted with support of the Kellogg Foundation.
Before coming to WSU, he was associate director of the Field Training and Service Bureau for the University of Oregon’s Center for Educational Policy and Management. From 1978-80, Gmelch was president of G.T.S. Airfreight Inc. in San Francisco. In 1971-72, he was a research scholar for the United Nations Institute of Educational Planning and Administration in New Delhi, India.
A Stanford University graduate, he earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Provost Bataille said Gmelch has “the breadth of experience and faculty support to provide exceptional leadership until a permanent dean can be identified through a national search.” She said the appointment of a search committee would be announced soon.

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