Saint Martin's College names new vice president of academic affairs

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Lacey - Saint Martin’s College has named Barbara M. Gayle, Ph.D., as its new vice president for academic affairs. Gayle will begin her position at Saint Martin’s this summer. Robert Miller, Ph.D., of the college’s music department, has filled the position on an interim basis.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Gayle join the administration here at Saint Martin’s,” said college President David R. Spangler. “She brings with her many strengths, including a significant academic understanding of higher education, a deep commitment to a strong academic program and keen insight into the balance needed between professional disciplines and strong general curriculum.”

As vice president for academic affairs, Gayle will be the college’s chief academic officer and will supervise all faculty members, divisions and deans. As well as being responsible for all college academic activities, she will supervise the library, registrar services, integrated technology services, extension campus programs and summer session. She also will act as senior executive officer during the president’s absence.

Gayle comes to Saint Martin’s from the University of Portland, where she is a professor in the department of communication studies and associate dean for curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences.

She earned her doctorate in organizational communication, communication theory, at the University of Oregon, where she completed a dissertation on organizational conflict management strategies. She completed her master’s degree in communication with a business minor and her bachelor’s degree in communication management at the University of Portland.

Gayle joined the faculty at the University of Portland in 1985 and, in 2001, was honored with the university’s Faculty Leadership Award and Outstanding Teacher Award. She has taught across the breadth of the communication field, including courses in communication law, public relations, communication research methods, negotiation and conflict, the rhetoric of women’s rights, studies in academic debate and cross culture management. She was part of the university’s successful effort to redefine itself that revealed its outstanding strengths and created a more distinctive identity.

Among her many honors, awards and leadership positions, she is a Carnegie Scholar, a commitment she will continue at Saint Martin’s. The program brings together outstanding higher education faculty from a variety of academic fields to design and carry out investigations of issues in teaching and learning in their fields that will contribute to thought and practice, according to the foundation.

As one of 30 scholars selected in 2001-02, she spent two summers at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and worked to integrate the University of Portland into Carnegie initiatives. Last spring, the university became one of 12 institutions chosen to become cluster leaders for learning-centered universities in a program sponsored by Carnegie and the American Association for Higher Education.

“Her participation on academic planning at the national level, which has helped give her an exceptional grasp on teaching excellence, will be a strong asset for the Saint Martin’s community,” Spangler said.

Gayle’s activities in the communications field include serving as associate editor for Women’s Studies in Communication, a role she has had since 1992. She is a past associate editor for Communication Studies. Gayle is a member of several organizations and societies, including the Western Communication Association, the Speech Communication Association, the Organization For Research on Women and Communication and the Northwest Communication Association.

Her husband, Ray Preiss, chairs the communication studies department at the University of Puget Sound.

For more information:
David R. Spangler, Ph.D.

Deanna Partlow, media relations coordinator
Saint Martin’s Office of Communication
360-438-4541 or