Current Dean Catherine Clark to Transition Back to Faculty
Brad Johnson has been appointed to serve as dean for the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) at Western Washington University, Provost Brent Carbajal announced today.
Catherine Clark, current dean of the college, will transition from dean to serving as a faculty member at Western.
“After careful thought and review, I have decided to step down as Dean of the College of Science and Engineering and return to the faculty in the chemistry department. This move will allow me to spend more time with my family. I have deeply enjoyed working with the faculty, staff and students on behalf of the college. I have loved my time as Dean but this is the right transition now for me to make for my family,” Clark said.
Johnson, now associate dean of CSE, will serve as dean for a two-year, fixed-term appointment, with the possibility of an indefinite appointment after a one-year evaluation.
“It is with great appreciation for her service as dean that I accepted Dean Clark’s request to transition to the faculty. I fully understand and appreciate her desire to spend time with family in California that her dean position didn’t easily accommodate, and I look forward to the contributions she’ll make as a faculty member,” Carbajal said. “The College will be very well served by Brad Johnson as dean, and I look forward to collaborating with him on initiatives and issues critical to our campus and mission. I am pleased that Dr. Johnson has agreed to accept this appointment and believe that the strong support he has situates the College favorably for success.”
Clark started as Western CSE dean in fall 2014. She succeeded Jeff Wright, who retired. Clark received her doctorate in Physical Chemistry from Boston University, specializing in laser-based studies of aquatic photochemistry. Before coming to Western, she was associate dean of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University in Orange, California.
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Catherine Clark for the many opportunities she has afforded me, and for her gracious support during the past three years,” Johnson said. “I also am grateful to Provost Carbajal for his confidence and support. I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and students who make up the College of Science and Engineering, and with the university leadership to take advantage of the many opportunities in front of us.”
Johnson, who has been associate dean in CSE since 2014, earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He joined Western as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1997, becoming a full professor in 2002.
Johnson served as chair of the WWU Department of Physics and Astronomy for 13 years. In that role he contributed significantly to important initiatives for the college and University, including co-authoring the engineering and Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC) decision packages – both of which successfully received Legislative funding. He also served as vice chair of the University Planning and Resources Council, and co-chaired the team that that drafted the WWU mission, vision and strategic plan.
He has been published in over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals in theoretical physics and was co-principal investigator on three major National Science Foundation research grants since 2008.
Western’s College of Science and Engineering includes academic departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering and Design, Geology, Mathematics and Physics, as well as AMSEC, the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) program and the Technology Development Center.