Brian Kloeppel (above), who had been serving as interim dean of Western Carolina University’s Graduate School and Research since July 2015, now is in the position on a permanent basis after approval of his appointment last summer by the Board of Trustees.

Named associate dean of the Graduate School in January 2013, he filled a vacancy created in June 2015 when Mimi Fenton, dean of Graduate School and Research for three years, stepped down to return to a faculty role in the Department of English. Appointment of Kloeppel to the permanent position followed a national search.

“Brian distinguished himself as an exceptionally strong candidate through his outstanding service as interim dean and as associate dean before that,” said Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar. “Working in close collaboration with the deans and program directors, he made significant progress in the marketing and support of graduate education at WCU. This has resulted in increased enrollment in a number of our graduate programs.”

Prior to coming to WCU in 2008, Kloeppel was a research faculty member with the University of Georgia for 14 years and was the site director for the National Science Foundation-funded Long-Term Ecological Research Program at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory near Otto in Macon County. In addition to his role as an advocate for graduate education at WCU, Kloeppel serves as chief research officer for the university’s Sponsored Research Office, which supports the faculty, staff and students who conduct research funded by external and internal sources.