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Search begins for the next chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities

August 21, 2012

Among the most critical positions in our university system are those of the chancellors on each of our three urban campuses. That is why I am pleased to announce the search for the next chancellor at WSU Tri-Cities is now underway.

The chancellor plays a pivotal role as chief executive officer of WSU Tri-Cities, a key higher education leader and spokesperson in the community, and a vital member of the WSU leadership team. We see the Tri-Cities as a unique community with strong partnerships, including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Hanford contractors, regional medical providers, the wine industry, and the Tri-Cities Research District. Finding the right leader is critical to achieving the strategic goals we have set forth.

The next chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities will fill the role vacated in July when Vicky L. Carwein resigned to lead Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in Indiana.

Key steps

We expect to advertise extensively and recruit heavily to find the best possible individual to serve in this very important position. As such, I have taken two key steps.

First, I have asked Mike Kluse, director of PNNL and chair of the WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Council, and Danny Talbot, clinical associate professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education program at WSU Tri-Cities, to serve as co-chairs of the committee. They have graciously accepted my invitation. They will lead a 17-member committee, which includes seven representatives of faculty and staff at WSU Tri-Cities; one from Spokane; one from Pullman; one WSU Tri-Cities student; and seven business leaders from the Tri-Cities — most of them members of the campus Advisory Council (see the full list below).

Second, I have taken steps to ensure the committee will be assisted by R. William Funk & Associates, a search firm based in Dallas, Texas, that specializes in higher education leadership. The search committee will accept confidential applications and nominations until the position is filled. Candidate screening will begin immediately. The committee is tasked with recommending their top candidates to me. I anticipate the new chancellor will assume office by July 1, 2013.

Much to offer

WSU Tri-Cities, located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, has much to offer and deserves strong candidates. Surrounded by an economically strong community of more than 260,000 residents, WSU Tri-Cities has passionate advocates regionally and statewide. A full, four-year campus with a diverse student body, WSU Tri-Cities offers 18 bachelor’s, 10 master’s, and six doctoral degree programs and research opportunities.

It is my charge to find the right leader who will continue to foster campus growth – one who will continue to meet the needs of students by providing a top quality education and continue to engage our regional partners in assuring that the skills and education of our graduates prepare them to succeed in meeting the challenges of the workplace.

This work at WSU Tri-Cities demands the right leader. Let us begin our search to find the best one.

Search committee members are:

• Mike Kluse, co-chair, Director, PNNL; chair of Advisory Council
• Danny Talbot, co-chair, Clinical Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, WSU Tri-Cities
• Birgitte Ahring, Director, Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy, WSU Tri-Cities
• Stephanie Bauman, Associate Professor, Psychology, WSU Tri-Cities
• Rich Cummins, President, Columbia Basin College
• Amber Eubanks, President, Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities
• Allan Felsot, Professor, Entomology, WSU Tri-Cities
• Brad Fisher, Senior Vice President, RBC Wealth Management; past-chair of Advisory Council
• Bob Lewis, Associate Professor, Computer Science, WSU Tri-Cities
• Mike Schwenk, Director, Technology Deployment and Outreach, PNNL; Advisory Council
• Albert Torres, Publisher, Tú Decides Media; Advisory Council
• Wayne Martin, Product Line Manager, PNNL; Advisory Council
• Shiloh Penland, Program Coordinator, Financial Aid & Scholarships, WSU Tri-Cities
• Brian Pitcher, Chancellor, WSU Spokane (ex officio)
• Lura Powell, Chair, Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund Board of Trustees
• Lori Selby, Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration, WSU Tri-Cities
• Chris Hoyt, Legal Affairs Associate, President’s Office, WSU Pullman