VANCOUVER, Wash. — Washington State University Vancouver begins its 14th year on Monday, Aug. 26 with new directors, 11 new faculty and a nearly completed multimedia classroom building.

New directors this fall include Hakan Gurocak, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, and Joe Norris, a new professor of education. This is also the first full year as director of business programs for Tom Tripp, associate professor of management and decision sciences. Tripp served as interim director during the 2001-02 academic year and was appointed permanent director in February.

An expert in robotics and pioneer in distance engineering labs, Gurocak fills a position vacated by Al Segall, former director and associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering. At WSU Vancouver since 1997, Gurocak was granted tenure at the rank of associate professor last spring. His Ph.D. is from WSU Pullman.

A new professor of education, Norris fills a role left vacant by former director Sherry Vaughan, who retired in May 2000. For the last 10 years he taught as a professor of drama education at University of Alberta, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. WSU Vancouver Associate Dean Dr. Bruce Romanish served as interim director of education May 2000 until August 2002.

Eleven new professors will join the faculty this year filling vacant positions and adding to growing programs. Eight of the eleven begin this fall. Three begin in spring.

Starting this fall are Daniel Chiang, assistant professor of material and mechanical engineering from Wafertech; Janiece DeSocio, assistant professor of nursing from WSU Spokane; John Paul Garofalo, assistant professor of psychology from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; Carolyn Gillman, assistant professor of teaching and learning, most recently a teaching assistant at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Mary Ann Linden, assistant professor of educational leadership and counseling from Western Oregon University; Tamara Nelson, assistant professor of teaching and learning from the University of Washington; Greg Rose, assistant professor of business from California State University at Chico; and education director Joe Norris.

Starting in January are Helen Burgess, assistant professor of English from West Virginia University, Diedre Le Fevre, assistant professor of teaching and learning from University of Michigan; and Cheryl Schultz, assistant professor of science from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Construction on the multimedia classroom building is nearing completion. Interior finishes and landscaping will continue this fall and liberal arts faculty and staff will move in prior to the start of spring semester in January.