News Service


Cathy Curtis, College of Education Alumni Officer, (515) 294- 8175
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- The College of Education at Iowa State University fused public schools, leadership, and team building into a single package when it installed Walter H. Gmelch as the college's new dean July 1.

Gmelch came to ISU from Washington State University where he had been interim dean, professor and former chair for educational leadership and counseling psychology. He also serves as the director of the University Counsel for Educational Administration's National Center for Academic Leadership.

Gmelch earned a Ph.D. in the Educational Executive Program from the University of California (Santa Barbara) and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University. He also holds a master's of business administration degree from the University of California (Berkeley).

In the business world, Gmelch has served as the executive vice-president of General TransPac Systems, San Francisco, Calif., and president of General TransPac Systems' Airfreight division.

As an educator, management consultant, university administrator, and former businessman, Gmelch has conducted research and written extensively on leadership, team development, conflict, and stress and time management.

Gmelch is the author of several articles, books and scholarly papers. Soon, he will have a new book published with three other co-authors titled "The Department Chair as Academic Leader."

Along with co-author Val Miskin, Gmelch has authored three books on team leadership: "Chairing an Academic Department" (1995); "Leadership Skills for Department Chairs" (1993); and, "Productivity Teams: Beyond Quality Circles." He has also authored two books on management and stress: "Coping with Faculty Stress", and "Beyond Stress to Effective Management".

A leading researcher in the study of academic leaders in higher education, Gmelch serves as editor of two journals and is on the editorial boards of a half dozen other journals, including "The Department Chair," "Innovative Higher Education," "Academic Leadership," and the "Center for Academic Leadership Newsletter."

During the 1990s, he directed two national studies of 1,600 university department chairs in the United States, one study of 1,580 Australian department heads, another investigation of 1,000 community college chairs, and recently has completed an international study of 2,000 academic deans in Australia and America.

Gmelch has earned numerous honors and awards including the Kellogg National Fellowship, The University Council for Educational Administration Distinguished Professor Award, the Faculty Excellence Award for Research, and the Education Press Award of America. In addition, he served in the Danforth Leadership Program and has also been an Australian Research Fellow.


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