Maser to Lead Atkinson at Willamette University

Beginning August first, Steven Maser, the current managing director of the Atkinson Executive Development Center, will serve a one-year appointment as interim dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University.

Maser, who has taught public management and public policy at the University since 1978, has served previously as both associate dean and interim dean.

Assisting Maser as associate dean for the academic year will be Debra Ringold, Atkinson professor of marketing since 1994.

"I am very pleased that Steve and Debra have agreed to step up," said Willamette University President Lee Pelton. "Strong leadership at Atkinson is always critical, but we are particularly focused today because of the goals we have in place for the Graduate School of Management. With their years of experience at Atkinson, Steve and Debra know well the challenges and opportunities that require our attention.

"Our national search for a new dean did not produce the candidate we hoped for," he added. "Having Steve and Debra at the helm for the next year will give us additional time to continue a thoughtful search, to solidify a major gifts program for Atkinson, and to develop a dean's fund to support key initiatives such as executive education."

In addition to his duties as interim dean, Maser will continue to lead the Executive Development Center and will teach one course both in the fall and spring.

In addition to her duties as associate dean, Ringold will coordinate an evaluation of Atkinson's full-time degree program and review the administrative operations of the School. She will maintain her current teaching responsibilities, including a new team-taught course offered jointly with the College of Law.

Maser replaces Bryan Johnston who stepped down as dean this spring in order to run for public office.