Office of the Dean of the Kimmel School

Welcome to the Office of the Dean

Kimmel School, Office of the Dean



James Zhang

James Zhang, Ph.D.

Dean and Professor of Electrical Engineering  

As dean of the Kimmel School, I am committed to maintaining a strong academic environment that supports teaching and learning and at the same time promotes active participation with business in shaping the economic future of our region.  

 Project-based learning, the powerful combination of "learning" and "doing," is at the core of the Kimmel School's mission. It is vital to our goal of developing  graduates who are creators, creative thinkers,  problem-solvers and lifelong learners. In our academic programs, project-based learning extends the expertise of our highly qualified faculty and staff far beyond their labs and classrooms. It enables our business partners and project sponsors to interact directly with students, mentoring and encouraging their progress. It allows the Rapid Center to focus on its dual goal of enhanced education and economic development. In a very practical way, project-based learning shows what can be accomplished when knowledge and new ideas are used to solve real problems.

The experience Kimmel School students have gained gives them a distinct advantage and a better chance than their peers for success wherever in the world their careers may take them. 

Associate Dean

Chip Ferguson
 Chip Ferguson, Ed.D.

 Associate Dean and Associate Professor



Administrative Staff

Pat Smith Brittney Buchanan
Pat Smith

Executive Assistant
(828) 227-2434

Brittney Buchanan

Administrative Support Specialist
(828) 227-2159



IT Help

Jason Foster
 Jason Foster 

 Information and Operations Specialist
 (828) 227-2748


Director of Development

Brett Woods
  Brett Woods, CFRE

  Director of Development
  (828) 227-7124




Learn More

If you are interested in studying at the Kimmel School, please contact the dean's office in the Belk Building on the south side of WCU's main campus in Cullowhee, N.C.  

Visit the School

We invite you to visit the Kimmel School to learn more about what the school is doing as a leader in higher education and as a partner in technology-led economic development throughout the region.


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