By Abby Williams
A Western Michigan University staff member remembers the late Dean Van Cooley.
“Dr. Cooley and I were friends and colleagues for 13 years,” said Katharine Cummings, Associate Dean of Western Michigan University’s Grad College.
“Van was dean from Jan. 2012 through July 2012. He agreed to serve as dean when the previous dean left Western Michigan University in December of 2011,” said Cummings.
Dr. Van Cooley grew up in Gary, Indiana; however, he earned all of his degrees including his Doctorate of Education at Ball State University. He came to WMU in 1996, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.
“Van passed away of an apparent heart attack while on vacation in Florida. It appeared that he died in his sleep” said Cummings.
The Kalamazoo Gazette also said that Van Cooley was Chairman of WMU’s Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology.
According to The Kalamazoo Gazette, Van Cooley was the Interim Director of Western Michigan University’s college of Education and Human Development. He worked on award-winning research programs for at risk children.
“Van was serving as interim dean while a search was being conducted for a permanent dean,” said Cummings, “That search is continuing, the Provost will name a new interim dean to continue until the search for the permanent dean is completed.”