PULLMAN, Wash. – Veteran Washington State University administrator and marketing faculty member Rom Markin will serve as interim campus executive officer and dean of WSU Spokane while a national search is conducted for a permanent head of the campus.
“I am pleased Dr. Markin has agreed to assist the university at this time,” said Provost Robert Bates. “He is well known and respected in Spokane and brings his significant leadership and administrative experience as a former dean of business to guide the campus through the coming months.”
Markin will replace William H. Gray who is stepping down from the position on Jan. 31.
“I consider the appointment a special responsibility, one I consider an honor,” Markin, who has been on the WSU faculty for more than 40 years, said. “I look forward to getting to know the people at the campus and helping the faculty members, researchers and staff to accomplish what they want to do.”
Markin called WSU’s Spokane’s strategic plan “a well-shaped document that creates a greater sense of the university’s responsibility in the economic development of the Spokane area, especially in biomedical research.
“Spokane is a leading medical center and serves a great geographical area very well,” he said. “It is at the forefront of so many things that WSU can assist with.”
Markin said WSU wants to continue to be a part of the research to build Spokane’s biotechnical reputation. “We have so much that relates to health sciences in place today. Now with marvelous physical facilities and strong partnerships, we will continue to do our part to support Spokane’s growth in many fields of study.”
The new interim dean said that in just over a decade, the WSU Spokane programs have mushroomed.
“WSU Spokane now offers a broad spectrum of courses and academic programs that serve numerous Spokane constituencies, and these programs are well received both by the student population as well as Spokane’s business community,” he said. “Linking the needs of the Spokane educational market with the resources of WSU is, in my mind, a stellar idea.
“Clearly, WSU is on board to continue its work with Spokane leaders to provide higher education and research opportunities in the area,” Markin said.
WSU President V. Lane Rawlins also was pleased with Markin’s appointment. “I have known Rom Markin for 35 years,” the president said. “He is one of the most capable administrators I have ever known, and I am delighted that he is willing to accept this challenge.”
Markin has continued to build an acclaimed successful and diverse career during his four decades at WSU, and has been a frequent source of vision and innovation for the university. For example, he is credited as being the driving force behind the funding and creation of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the College of Business and Economics in 1995, the same year he ended his 15-year role as college dean.
During his tenure at the helm of the college, he led fundraising efforts that established several key distinguished professorships in business disciplines, launched innovations that incorporated computers and high technology in students’ curriculum, oversaw the renovation and expansion of the college’s classrooms and administrative headquarters in Todd Hall on the Pullman campus, and inspired hundreds of students as an outstanding teacher and mentor.
He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. He taught at Indiana University and Montana State University before joining WSU, where he became a full professor in 1969. He has served on and led numerous university, college and community committees and organizations. He chaired the Department of Marketing, directed the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, and chaired the Educational Policies Committee before becoming college dean in 1980.
He was the first director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and served WSU in 2000 as interim provost. Following that assignment, he has taught entrepreneurship classes and also performed a myriad of duties associated with the Maughmer Freedom Philosophy Professorship, which he has held since October 1999. Prior to that, he held the James D. Huber Memorial Chair of Entrepreneurship.
His interests in teaching and research are in the fields of entrepreneurship, marketing, retailing management and consumer behavior. An avid reader, he is an eloquent speaker and writer. In addition to numerous academic papers and proceedings, he has authored eight books during his career at WSU.