CWU News

Johnson Appointed Interim Dean of CWU Arts and Humanities

Central Washington University Provost Marilyn Levine today announced that Kirk Johnson, dean of the College of the Sciences (COTS), also will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities (CAH) until that position can be filled permanently. Recently a national search for a CAH dean concluded without a permanent replacement for Dean Marji Morgan, who will leave the post in June.

"Kirk very graciously agreed to perform this service to the university in addition to his already-significant duties as dean of the College of the Sciences," said Levine. "Kirk already has a very full plate, but understood the urgency of my request and I appreciate the sacrifice he's making."

Johnson, who has served as dean of the College of the Sciences since 2007, said he would seek out the advice of the eight department chairs to help lead the college through challenging new initiatives. The university's new management model is being implemented now, placing decision about development and support in the hands of college leaders rather than the university administration. All programs are looking for ways to sustain robust enrollment, and to recruit and retain excellent student, faculty, and staff.

"The College of Arts and Humanities has some remarkable leaders and innovative faculty and staff. I'm looking forward to working with them and supporting them until we can find permanent leadership for the college," said Johnson. "This is a college with programs that stand above their peers in the Northwest and in the United States. It's an honor to work with and learn from them."

Levine said a search for a permanent dean would proceed late in the summer with the goal of finding strong new leadership as soon as possible.   In the meantime, Levine said she had absolute confidence that Johnson would be a successful interim leader.

"Dean Johnson has led and worked on numerous task forces, which has allowed him to work with faculty from departments campus-wide and has given him a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities within disciplines," said Levine.

Johnson's most recent campus initiatives have included chairing the Academic Program Task Force and the search for the library dean.

Johnson received his MA and PhD from Washington State University and his bachelor's degreee from the University of Washington. He chaired CWU's Department of Sociology from fall 1997 through spring 2007. Johnson began part-time service as associate dean in summer 2006 and has served as dean since spring 2008. 

Media Contact: Jackie O’Ryan, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1221,