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Central Michigan University appoints vice president for research and dean of graduate studies

David Ash will continue leading both units

Contact: Dan Digmann


​Michael Gealt, executive vice president and provost at Central Michigan University, has announced the appointment of David Ash as vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. Ash was selected following a national search.

Currently serving as interim vice president and dean, Ash will lead the two units in his new role beginning March 1.

He will continue fostering research collaboration among CMU faculty and staff and between CMU and appropriate external entities. He also will work across the academic division to increase the quality and quantity of research, scholarship and creative work at CMU and will manage internal grant programs and other investments to improve research and creative work at CMU.

As dean of the graduate school, Ash will be responsible for ensuring that quality is maintained across all graduate programs and that CMU offers a spectrum of programs that attracts students for master's and doctoral studies.  He also will have direct oversight of the M.S.A. program, which is the largest graduate program at CMU and is offered online, remotely and on campus.

"David Ash is a dedicated leader who has helped CMU to boldly advance its research-related endeavors as a professor and an administrator," Gealt said. "He has a strong record for participating in the life and governance of the university, and this commitment will continue as he moves forward in these important roles."

Ash first started working at CMU in 2005, where he spent the next decade serving as a professor and chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry. He was appointed interim vice president for research and dean of graduate studies in 2015.

Claudia Douglass, CMU vice provost for academic effectiveness, chaired the 10-member search committee.

"David Ash has an effective approach to leadership that has been demonstrated during his interim appointment," Douglass said. "He has a thoughtful approach to problem solving and is very highly regarded by his colleagues both on and off campus."

Throughout his years at CMU, Ash has taught a variety of upper-level biochemistry classes and supervised many graduate and undergraduate students. He also has served on numerous boards and committees including the medical school vision committee, technology planning committee, and search committees for leading academic and administrative positions.

Prior to working at CMU, Ash served as a biochemistry faculty member at the Temple University School of Medicine for nearly 22 years. During that time, he also served as an associate professor at the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology.

Ash currently is affiliated with professional organizations such as the American Chemical Society and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He also has shared his expertise as a member of National Institutes of Health review groups and many academic journals.

Ash earned his doctoral degree in biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University.

In addition to Douglass, other committee members were:

• Patricia Chase, director, MSA program;   
• Gary Dunbar, professor, psychology;
• Anne Hornak, chairperson, educational leadership department;
• Jon Humiston, special assistant to the provost;
• Ed McKee, senior associate dean for research, College of Medicine;
• Mary Montoye, executive director, research and graduate studies;
• Jane Matty, associate dean, College of Science and Engineering;
• Toby Roth, director, government relations; and
• Alli Baxter, human resources consultant.


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