David Patrick has been named the interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for research at Western Washington University.
Patrick, now professor of Chemistry at Western, will assume his new duties on June 28. He will succeed Gautam Pillay, who exercised his reversion rights to a faculty position and has stepped down as Graduate School dean and vice provost, a position he held since August 2017.
Western will launch a national search for a dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for research during the 2019-20 academic year, so Patrick will serve in his interim role until such time as permanent leadership arrives on campus, likely during the summer of 2020.
On May 1, Professor Emerita Kathy Kitto took over as acting dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for Research. Kitto will serve in that role until Patrick begins on June 28.
“I look forward to working with Professors Kitto and Patrick and know that the Graduate School, Research and Sponsored Programs, and WWU will be well served by their leadership, “said Western Provost Brent Carbajal.
Carbajal thanked Kitto for being willing to “come out of retirement” to serve as acting dean. Prior to retirement, Kitto previously served as dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for research.
“Professor Kitto is possessed of a great deal of experience and administrative acumen, and her leadership will allow us to immediately staff an important senior leadership position,” Carbajal said.
Professor Patrick, who has served on the Western faculty since 1996, also is the current director of WWU Scientific Technical Services and is affiliate faculty in Western’s Institute for Energy Studies. He was the University’s Snohomish PUD Professor of Energy Studies in 2015. He previously served as director of Western’s Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center.
“Western is widely recognized for our high quality graduate and professional programs and for the influential scholarship, creative work, and research of our faculty and students. I’m excited for the opportunity to help build on the strong foundations of these programs, and look forward to working closely with our many outstanding scholars across all disciplines to support their pioneering and important work,” Patrick said.
Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of California at Davis and his doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Utah. He was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University. He was a visiting fellow at Oxford University in 2002-2003 and a visiting fellow at Cambridge University during 2010-2011.
Patrick’s scholarly interests focus on solar energy concentration and conversion technologies, and organic semiconductors for electronics applications. He has been a strong proponent for involvement of students at all levels in research, and includes high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in his research group. He teaches courses in the areas of analytical and materials chemistry, and energy science.
Patrick is a distinguished scholar with numerous publications and several patents from his work at Western, where he has won awards and recognitions for his teaching and research, including a Cotrell Scholar award in 2016; Western’s Arlan Norman Excellence in Student Mentoring Award in 2015; the WWU Sustainability Award in Academics in 2012; the WWU Simpson Bridging Award in 2010; the WWU Olscamp Research Award in 2005; the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 2001; the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2000, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2000.