Vance Cooney Sails into Retirement after 18 Years

By Dayana Morales, Contributing Writer

After 18 years as a professor in EWU’s College of Business and Public Administration, Vance Cooney is retiring. Cooney began his college teaching career in 1992 at Xavier University in Cincinnati and came to EWU in 1999.

Cooney was born and raised in Spokane. He went to WSU in the 1970s after being waitlisted by Harvard. He then flunked out of WSU in 1973.

“I spent the next 15 of the next 17 years just bouncing around and doing chucklehead source of stuff,” Cooney said.

After that, Cooney returned to Spokane where he attended EWU as a graduate student. He graduated in 1987 and then went to the University of Arizona to pursue a doctorate in management information systems.

Cooney accomplished a few things while at EWU.

“I taught a lot of people, if that counts,” Cooney said. “In terms of organizational stuff a million years ago me and two other people put together the first pass at new labs on the Cheney campus. I think that made a difference. I think that plan is still in place and you see better stuff all the time.”

Cooney was also on the committee that searched for solutions for the student information systems.

“We switched from a coal fuel solution for student information systems to banner,  we traveled hither thither and beyond to collected information,” Cooney said.  “I think that helped the institution.”

In 2010, Cooney started a Program in the EWU College of Business.

“He, with a professor in Health Service Administration, created the Health Information Technology Management program,” said EWU Professor Duanning Zhou, who also received his PhD in information systems.

Cooney also has activities that keep him busy in his free time.

“I’ve always had a little side business that I am working at pretty hard,” Cooney said.

Cooney started Olde Same Place Enterprises LLC in 2010 and is the sole proprietor. The business is an online service that helps other business people create web database applications with ease.

When asked if he would do this all over again, Cooney said, “There were reasons to do it and now if we had to do it all over again I don’t know, maybe not, I like Spokane; I grew up here, it’s kind of little.”

 Cooney said he enjoyed his time here at EWU and said he is retiring because he can.

“We are going to travel some while the going is good,” Cooney said. “Shortly next week, first week of July, we are going to Europe for a couple weeks and look at all of that. [My wife] and I might go back to Kaua’I; she liked Hawaiian Island really well.”

There are about 3 classes left for Cooney to finish teaching until he is officially retired.

“I think that some of [the students] will reflect on things I discussed with them a decade out and understand and that is okay,” said Cooney. “I think that I’ve done the best I could to prepare them to get work while at the same time continue and have a soul. I try to be a good human being and help out where I can.”

Lisa Denker, EWU student and senior secretary, for his department would describe Professor Cooney as “very caring about both his program and students, slightly eccentric, very funny, down to earth, very animated, and very very smart,”

She will remember his readiness.

“He made sure to assist me with knowing what I was doing with my new duties, and to make sure that I felt welcomed,” said Denker

Mr. Zhou has known Mr. Cooney for the pass 17 years and he describes him as a nice, humorous person. He said he will remember him with a Hawaiian shirt on.