Steven Hollenhorst is next Huxley dean

Steven Hollenhorst will assume the deanship of Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University effective Sept. 1. Hollenhorst comes to Western from the University of Idaho. Courtesy photo

Western Today staff

Steven Hollenhorst will assume the deanship of Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University effective Sept. 1, Provost Catherine Riordan announced May 25.

“From an exceptionally strong pool of candidates, we have identified a national leader in the field of environmental research and policy to assume the deanship of the Huxley College. Western is committed to our legacy of leadership on environmental issues, and Dr. Hollenhorst is well positioned to advance that into the future," Riordan said. "His career exemplifies the interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial approaches we were seeking, as well a truly outstanding of record of long-term community and agency partnerships that will be key to Huxley’s and Western’s success in the future."

Hollenhorst, now professor and associate dean for the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho, was selected following a national search. He will succeed longtime and widely appreciated –both locally and nationally – Huxley Dean Brad Smith, who will retire from Western in 2013.

“The opportunity to work with the faculty, students, staff at Huxley, one of the world’s first colleges of the environment, is an honor and privilege," Hollenhorst said. "I commit to do everything I can to nurture and advance Huxley’s vision to be a global leader in environmental learning, science and community engagement."

Hollenhorst has more than 25 years of experience in developing, implementing and enhancing innovative academic programs. At the University of Idaho, he also served as founding director of the university’s award-winning Building Sustainable Communities Initiative and is director of the universities Park Studies Unit, which is a branch of the National Park Service Social Science Program. He also previously served as that university’s department head for its Department of Conservation Sciences.

Prior to his service at the University of Idaho, he was a professor and program coordinator in the Division of Forestry at Western Virginia University. His career includes nationally and internationally recognized scholarship. He is the author or co-author of numerous scholarly publications, including refereed articles, peer-reviewed agency research reports, book chapters and research reports. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon and his doctorate from Ohio State University.

In making this announcement, Riordan acknowledged the work of the search committee, chaired by Andy Bunn, professor of Environmental Sciences at Western and newly appointed Director of the Institute for Energy Studies, as well as the many campus and community members who played active roles in making this search a success.

The dean of Huxley College is responsible for providing academic and administrative leadership to an engaged community of faculty and staff members in two academic departments, four off-campus program sites and four related institutes. The dean reports directly to the provost and serves on the university’s Council of Deans.

WWU's Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College's academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs.