Former Provost, Geology Chair Dies at 77

James Hoffman

James Hoffman, former EWU provost and vice president for academic affairs, died May 16 after suffering a heart attack while vacationing with his wife, Ellen, in Hawaii.

Hoffman, 77, spent more than ten years on the Eastern Washington University faculty. He served for six years in the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost position before returning to teaching and research as chair of the Department of Geology. Following his retirement in 2002, Hoffman was awarded the titles of Provost Emeritus and Professor of Geology Emeritus.

Hoffman was a strong supporter of Washington’s wine industry, both before and after his retirement. Friends attested, according to an obituary appearing in the Spokesman Review, “that he wanted to taste the rocks under the vines as well as the wine.” He worked with the soils and sites of many vineyards across the state, and served for ten years as the “cellar master” for the Spokane branch of the International Wine & Food Society.

His love of life extended past wine to decades of travel, exploration, fitness, golf and skiing. Please click here to read Hoffman’s full obituary.

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