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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Engineering and Technology Management

G. Todd Vanek

Director of Operations
Washington State University

Email: gtvanek@wsu.edu

Education

  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Washington State University
  • BA in Psychology, Norfolk State University

Expertise

  • Program Management & Evaluation
  • Customer/Student Support
  • Process Improvement
  • Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting
  • Program Assessment

Professional Background

Todd is the Assistant Director of the ETM program. In this role, he oversees and manages activities critical to the operation of the ETM program, including fiscal, personnel and administrative management, marketing, communications and corporate relations, strategic planning, analytic reporting of academic data and assisting with academic course scheduling. Todd is also an active member of the Administrative Professionals Advisory Council at WSU.

Todd’s education and experience in learning, assessment, and evaluation included qualifications as a US Navy instructor and Master Training Specialist, early childhood education and K-12 teaching, corporate training in process improvement, curriculum development, program evaluation, and undergraduate and graduate teaching. His true passion is supporting and seeing an individual, team and/or organization learn how to learn.

As the Customer Service Manager at Decagon Devices, Todd has worked closely with engineering, manufacturing and leadership on process improvement, providing customer feedback data as part of the overall quality system. Todd’s customer service experience was magnified during his tenure as a Conference Manager in WSU’s Professional Education department. In that role, he had to meet customer expectations from high-level budgeting needs to on the spot event attendee needs–balancing the never-ending “it’s too cold in here; it’s too hot in here.”

Todd’s leadership experience included positions in the United States Navy, manufacturing and retail, and local government. His fundamental belief of leadership is the inverted hierarchy. The traditional organizational structure is one of top down flow. Todd believes the hierarchy is upside down. “The leader should be at the ‘bottom’ of the organization. It is his/her job to provide a realistic vision and then support the VPs, Department Heads, and other leaders in making that vision a reality. Managers must then support their employees. It is more important to know what those who interface with the customer on a daily basis need than for the leader to mandate what those individuals should do.” Former Herman Mill CEO Max De Pree summed it up best with his quote: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant.”