Walter H. Gmelch

Walter H. Gmelch

Walter H. Gmelch, Ph.D.

Walt Gmelch is former dean and currently professor of Leadership Studies at the University of San Francisco. Formerly he served as dean of the College of Education at Iowa State University, and as interim dean of the College of Education, professor, and chair of the Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology Department at Washington State University. Gmelch also currently serves as director of the National Center for Academic Leadership.

As educator, management consultant, university administrator, and former business executive, Gmelch has conducted research and written extensively on the topics of leadership, team development, conflict, and stress and time management. He has published over 200 articles, books, and scholarly papers in national and international journals. Gmelch is author of three books on team leadership with Val Miskin (Chairing an Academic Department, 2004, Leadership Skills for Department Chairs, 2011, and Productivity Teams: Beyond Quality Circles) and two on management and stress (Coping with Faculty Stress and Beyond Stress to Effective Management). With Irene W. D. Hecht and Mary Lou Higgerson, he participated in writing The Department Chair as Academic Leader (1999). Recently, he has coauthored four additional books on the deanship: College Deans: Leading From Within (2002), Deans’ Balancing Acts (2002), The Changing Nature of the Deanship (2001), Seasons of a Dean’s Life (forthcoming), and an edited book for department chairs with John Schuh, The Life Cycle of a Department Chair (2004).

Today Gmelch is one of the leading researchers in the study of academic leaders in higher education, serving as editor of several journals including The Department Chair, Innovative Higher Education, Academic Leadership, and theCenter for Academic Leadership newsletter. He has directed two national studies of 1,600 university department chairs in the United States, a study of 1,580 Australian department heads, an investigation of 1,000 community college chairs, and an international study of 2,000 academic deans in Australia and America.

Gmelch earned a Ph.D. in the Educational Executive Program from the University of California Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.