Celebrate the Life of Dr. Van E. Cooley
Sunday, October 21, 2012
1910 Sangren Hall, WMU Main Campus
Parking is available in lot 41 and Henry Hall
Memorial contributions can be made to WMU Foundation
Dr. Van Cooley, interim dean of WMU's College of Education and Human Development, passed away during a trip to Florida July 31, 2012. He was 64. Cooley, a member of the WMU faculty since 1996, was born April 15, 1948 to Ralph and Sue Cooley in Gary, Indiana.
Dr. Cooley is survived by his wife, Linda J. Cooley; son, Brian (Kristen) Cooley; daughter, Amy (Jake) Pitcher; father, Ralph E. Cooley; sisters, Pam (Steve) Pawlicki and Kim (Don) Snemis; and four grandchildren—Noah, Evan, Liam, and Lillie. He served his country as a medic in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and earned bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees from Ball State University.
Dr. Cooley enjoyed golfing, hiking, traveling, and his two dogs. He also enjoyed working, and did a tremendous job with many notable achievements for the College of Education and Human Development.
Dr. Cooley was appointed in January 2012 to serve as interim dean of the College. Prior to that he had served since 2006 as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology. Before joining the WMU faculty, he enjoyed a 22-year career in public education in Indiana, holding positions as a middle and high school teacher and as an assistant superintendent and superintendent.
Working with teachers and administrators, Dr. Cooley developed state and national award-winning programs that included professional development initiatives, programs to address the needs of at-risk students, and efforts focused on technology in the classroom. After his arrival at WMU, Dr. Cooley was the co-principal investigator on nearly $9 million dollars in grants from the Wallace Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education—focusing on improving the way data is used by school leaders to encourage the use of more effective teaching strategies and to improve student performance.
Dr. Cooley was active on campus as a member of the WMU Faculty Senate Executive Board for 11 years. In addition, he served as a member of the Research Policies Committee, Campus Planning and Finance Council, Research Policies Council, Academic and Information Technology Council and the Faculty Senate Committee on Extended University Programs.