PULLMAN — Erich J. Lear has accepted the post of dean of the College of Liberal Arts.  Lear has served as interim dean since August 2004 and has accepted a two-year appointment as dean. 

Barbara Couture, the former dean, resigned the position last year when she was named senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Provost and Academic Vice President Robert Bates said “As interim dean this year, Erich Lear has led the College of Liberal Arts with distinction.  It is my pleasure to announce his appointment to the position of dean of the college to continue his excellent work on advancing the instructional, scholarly and service aspirations as reflected in their strategic plan and benchmarks. 

“He enjoys the broad support of the CLA faculty, staff and administrators, and I look forward to supporting him in his efforts to move the college to new levels of excellence in all disciplines.”

Prior to his interim dean term, Lear served as professor of Music and director of General Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. As a violinist/violist he has been a member of the Washington-Idaho Symphony and performed in solo and chamber music at WSU. He taught upper-division music history and music theory courses on a schedule limited by his primary duties in general studies.

Lear received his bachelor of music, master of arts, and doctor of musical arts degrees from the University of Iowa. He began his violin study with Edward Kurtz (student of Eugene Ysaye), continued with Charles Treger and Allen Ohmes (of the Stradivardi Quartet) at Iowa, and studied with David Cerone at the Meadowmount School of Music.  

Lear’s academic career has included faculty and administrative positions at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg), Morningside College (Sioux City, Iowa), Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell prior to his coming to WSU in the fall of 1989.  From 1989 to 2000 he served as director of the WSU School of Music and Theatre Arts.

He has appeared as soloist and chamber musician with the support of several state arts councils and was selected as a resident artist by the Ohio Arts Council, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.  He has performed as concertmaster and violinist or violist with the New Hampshire Music Festival, Cascade Music Festival, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, and Roanoke Symphony. 

He has been the Region 2 chair and team chair for Music Accreditation Reviews for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). He also served as administrative curriculum officer on the board of the Washington Music Educators Association. Lear has published in the American String Teacher and served as president of the Washington state ASTA chapter.