Office: Kimbrough 358
Dr. Erich Lear
Professor Emeritus of Music
Dr. Erich Lear, previously Director of the School of Music and Theatre Arts from 1989 to 2000, served as Director of Liberal Arts General Studies from January 2003 through summer 2004, then as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts for the 2004–2005 academic year and from June 2005 through August 2008 as dean of the College.
Lear's leadership in the Music and Theatre Arts was considered crucial to major projects, including the renovation of Kimbrough Music Building and the funding and completion of the digital recording studio. As director of Liberal Arts General Studies he was directly involved in rejuvenation of the on-line Liberal Arts programs, especially the criminal justice bachelor's degree, and in increasing flexibility in designation of areas and concentrations for humanities and social sciences majors on campus and WSU Online.
As interim dean and dean, Lear’s contributions included advocacy and leadership for creation of a separate Murrow College of Communication, increasing external grant funding by 400%, securing over $8 Million dollars in private gifts, and identifying thematic areas of impact crucial to the centrality of the College of Liberal Arts at WSU.
Lear has served as a member of the University Scholarship Coordinating Committee, co-chair of the College of Education Professional Education Advisory Board, chair and vice chair of the Research and Arts Committee, and has participated in groups working to resolve issues involving several aspects of academic affairs.
Lear received a bachelor's degree in music, master of arts degree, and doctorate in musical arts, all from the University of Iowa, in violin performance. Prior to joining WSU in the fall of 1989, his academic career included faculty and administrative positions at Virginia Tech, Morningside College, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Lear has been the Region 2 chair and team chair for music accreditation reviews for the National Association of Schools of Music. He also served as administrative curriculum officer on the board of the Washington Music Educators Association. He has published in the American String Teacher and served as president of the Washington state American String Teachers Association chapter.