Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

January 20 , 2005

Whitworth Appoints Political Scientist Michael Le Roy as New Academic Dean

After reviewing applications from academic leaders around the country, Whitworth College selected a nationally recognized teacher and scholar from its own ranks to become the next vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. Professor of Political and International Studies Michael Le Roy, a Whitworth alumnus who quickly rose to leadership positions at Wheaton College, (Ill.) before returning to his alma mater in 2002, will assume his new duties on July 1. He succeeds Tammy Reid, a longtime member of Whitworth's faculty who announced in the fall her intentions to return to teaching after a successful, nine-year tenure during which she oversaw the adoption of a new general-education curriculum, expansion of the faculty, and construction of a landmark new academic building.

In announcing Le Roy's appointment, Whitworth President Bill Robinson told the campus community, "It takes little effort to get excited about Michael's leadership. His energy, his love for the Whitworth mission, his affection for all of you, his abundant talent, and his thorough understanding of who we are and what we hope to become will serve us for many years."

Professor of Education and Faculty President Betty Williams, who chaired the search committee, says that the position attracted a strong pool of candidates, including a number of sitting deans at other institutions, but Le Roy was the best match for Whitworth's future.

"Michael Le Roy emerged as a visionary leader who wholeheartedly embraces Whitworth's mission and who values and exemplifies the academic excellence we seek," Williams says. "Dr. Le Roy brings special strengths in terms of international diversity, a collaborative leadership style, an intimate understanding of Whitworth's unique position among Christian colleges, and a national reputation as an articulate scholar."

Le Roy, an award-winning teacher-scholar who specializes in comparative politics and international relations, says he looks forward to providing leadership in achieving Whitworth's strategic academic goals. He also wants to preserve Whitworth's commitment to its mission and to serving students, which he credits for the college's high rankings and record growth in applications and enrollment in recent years.

"Whitworth's great strength is its commitment to serving students; I feel passionate about our need to maintain that high level of personal attention as well as academic excellence as we continue to grow," Le Roy says. "I have worked at a few different places, but I have always loved Whitworth's unique blend of Christian commitment and intellectual openness. I am a product of this environment and I feel that I understand it better than any other institution, but I have also been around enough to know the competitive pressures that Whitworth is up against."

After graduating from Whitworth in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in international studies, Le Roy received a Ph.D. in political science at Vanderbilt University, in 1994. While completing his doctorate he served two years as a research and teaching fellow at Göteborgs University in Sweden under a Fulbright grant and funding from the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

Le Roy served as visiting professor of government and international relations at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., before joining the faculty of Wheaton College in 1994. He was appointed chair of Wheaton's Department of Political and International Relations in 1998. In that role, he oversaw the implementation of a new program in international relations, a major curriculum revision, and a sharp increase in graduate school placements, all of which contributed to a doubling of the number of political-science majors.

While at Wheaton, Le Roy received a number of research grants and teaching awards, including the Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching from Wheaton in 1999 and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Political Science Association in 2000. He also directed Wheaton's study-abroad program in Europe and its political-science summer internship program and co-founded a consulting firm specializing in helping large and medium-sized multinational corporations implement corporate social responsibility policies, management systems and reporting systems.

Le Roy returned to Whitworth in 2002, serving as professor in the Department of Politics and History and chair of the team teaching the capstone course in Whitworth's signature worldview-studies curriculum. He also has played a leadership role on the Academic Planning Task Force and in the development of a strategic plan to build on Whitworth's strong off-campus studies program through the establishment of international campus centers.

Le Roy is author or co-author of six books, including Research Methods in Political Science (Wadsworth, 6th Edition, 2005) and an innovative text book, Introduction to Comparative Politics (Wadsworth, 3rd Edition, 2004), which includes software and a data archive that allow students to access and analyze real data. He has also published numerous book chapters and journal articles and has served as a regular analyst of political and international news for KXLY television and radio.

Le Roy and his wife, Andrea, have three children. He is an active member and adult Sunday-School teacher at Colbert Presbyterian Church and coaches youth soccer and baseball teams.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Bill Robinson, president, (509) 777-4665 or wrobinson@whitworth.edu.

Betty Williams, professor of education and faculty president, (509) 777-4688 or bwilliams@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

Related Links

Whitworth Press Release Index