PULLMAN, Wash.–Washington State University has selected English professor and former administrator Barbara Couture of Wayne State University in Michigan to become dean of the College of Liberal Arts, effective July 1.
Couture was associate dean of the Division of Metropolitan Programs and Summer Session at Wayne State from 1993-97, and served as associate dean for curriculum of the College of Liberal Arts in 1990-91.
Making the announcement, WSU Provost Gretchen Bataille said, “Dr. Couture has administrative experience in the College of Liberal Arts and The College of Lifelong Learning. Her knowledge of both on-campus and off-campus instruction will serve WSU well in fulfilling its land-grant mission. She is an accomplished scholar with five books on technical and professional writing.”
Couture received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1970 and master’s and doctoral degrees in English Language and Literature from
U of M.
Beginning her education career as a public school teacher, she was an assistant principal in Livonia, Mich. Couture joined the Wayne State faculty in 1979 and was appointed full professor in the English department in 1994. She has served as director of the College of Liberal Arts Humanities Council and director of composition.
Her books include “Toward a Phenomenological Rhetoric: Writing, Profession and Altruism,” published in 1998; “Professional Writing: Toward a College Curriculum,” published in 1987; and “Cases for Technical and Professional Writing,” co-authored with Jone Rymer in 1985, which won the NCTE Excellence in Technical and Scientific Communication Award for “Best Book.”
Couture said, “I’m pleased and delighted with the opportunity to join the outstanding faculty and staff of Washington State’s College of Liberal Arts as their dean. Many things attracted me to WSU: the college’s distinguished programs in arts, letters and social sciences; the outreach mission of the university, extending programs both on and off campus; and the tremendous support of WSU alumni.
“Many challenges face the college as it continues to fill its central role in the WSU mission. I am eager to begin working with my fine colleagues to make the college an even stronger academic presence,” Couture said.

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