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March 24, 2009
Dr. Kichoon Yang, provost and professor of mathematics at Northwest Missouri State University, announced today that he is leaving the University on July 1 to become the executive director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, a professional association based in Reston, Va.
NCTM has more than 100,000 members and 250 affiliated groups throughout the United States and Canada and is the largest non-profit professional association for mathematics educators in the world.
Yang came to Northwest in January 2005 as the successor to Provost C. Taylor Barnes, who resigned to join the geographical information sciences program at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Before assuming his duties as Northwest's chief academic officer, Yang was dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa, where he led a number of initiatives, including the start of what was then Iowa's only undergraduate program in bioinformatics.
At Northwest, Yang played a key role in developing a number of new opportunities for Northwest students, such as the new nanoscience degree program to be housed in the University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, scheduled for completion later this year.
Yang also helped establish Northwest's first academic facilities located beyond the University's Maryville campus: the Northwest Kansas City Center in Liberty and the Northwest St. Joseph Center.
Over the past two years, he was instrumental in implementing Northwest's Rational Expectations Enrollment Plan, or REEP, a strategic enrollment management plan designed to grow the University's enrollment by 20 percent over a five-year period. The plan is now entering its third year, and, in line with projections, Northwest has seen enrollment grow by about 10 percent during that time.
Yang said he has had "a good run" at Northwest, and that he is proud of having worked with the Faculty Senate to strengthen the University's system of shared governance.
"Northwest has turned to be a much better institution, even, than I thought it was," he said. "It's a great University, and I have nothing but good things to say about this institution."
Northwest's president, Dr. Dean L. Hubbard, praised Yang, who is the author of numerous books on mathematics, "as one of the smartest people I have ever met." He described Yang as "a brilliant mathematician" and a great teacher, administrator and colleague.
"I appreciate the many contributions Dr. Yang has made to Northwest, and I am pleased that he will continue to work on behalf of our nation's schools and universities through his leadership of this important organization," Hubbard said.
Earlier in his career, Yang was assistant vice president for undergraduate studies at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, where he also served as professor of mathematics and chairman of the department. From 1994 to 1997 he was program director for the Geometric Analysis Program, Division of Mathematical Sciences, at the National Science Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Washington University.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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