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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Archer Chosen to Lead CWU’s School of Graduate Studies and Research

Kevin Archer, formerly professor and chair of Central Washington University’s Department of Geography has been named Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. As chair and professor of the Department of Geography, Archer also served as the interim dean of graduate studies for the past two years.

“Building on already impressive foundation, Kevin will be leading the SGSR to an even more dynamic stage,” said Marilyn Levine, CWU Provost. “I know we all are united in offering our sincere congratulations and good wishes as he and his team continue to advance graduate education at CWU.”

“I’ve always been passionate about graduate education particularly because that’s what makes us a research-oriented university, rather than merely an undergraduate teaching institution” said Archer.

After two years as interim dean, Archer has had time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of CWU’s current program. He desires to raise the profile of graduate education across the university and to develop new strategies to encourage students to pursue advanced studies at CWU.

“Central is a great place to earn an advanced degree, particularly given our very committed graduate teaching faculty” said Archer. “Our graduate programs are small, so students get one-on-one mentorship that isn’t available at larger schools. CWU is also extremely affordable compared to other institutions.”

Archer’s goals are to increase the visibility of signature programs, such as primate behavior and ecology, geological and biological sciences, resource management, psychology, music, information technology and administrative management, and others. He also wants to develop graduate certificate programs that address acquiring advanced skills or knowledge for career advancement for those who do not want, or simply cannot find the time or funds, to pursue a full master’s degree.

He also intends to increase funding for teaching and research assistantships, which would attract more students.  In addition, Archer would like to see an expansion of online and multimodal master’s instruction and degree programs which would allow time- and place-bound students greater access to graduate education.

Finally, Archer intends to more fully engage the more than 10,000 master’s degree alumni, perhaps by developing a graduate alumni association and network and eventually a board of advisors to help develop future management plans for the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

“All the things that makes us a great school for undergraduates, makes us an even greater school for graduate students,” said Archer. “I want to work with our faculty and students to enhance our programs and make CWU a top choice for advanced education.”

Before Archer joined CWU in 2012, he was chair of the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning at the University of South Florida, where he started a PhD program. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and his PhD in geography and environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  He also received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue research at the Katholieke Universiteit van Leuven in Belgium.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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