Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

It is my pleasure to announce that Elizabeth Chilton will be WSU’s new provost and executive vice president, effective August 1. She joins us from Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York system, where she has served as dean of the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences since 2017.

As provost and executive vice president, Elizabeth will serve as WSU’s highest ranking academic officer, responsible for guiding all aspects of the University’s system‑wide academic mission. As such, she will oversee the evolution of WSU’s core mission to prepare students for career and life success, nurture research that addresses the challenges of our times, and build partnerships that engage with and serve the people of our state.

Elizabeth brings a deep understanding of and dedication to the values of a land‑grant university in the twenty‑first century to WSU. That belief has been honed during her more than 20 years of administrative and teaching experience at Binghamton, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Harvard University. As a first‑generation college graduate, Elizabeth is highly committed to high quality, accessible public education. She herself is a product of public education, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through completion of her doctoral studies.

Throughout her career, Elizabeth has emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion as a fundamental guiding principle. She has demonstrated highly developed skills in administrative leadership, faculty development, research, student success, and academic programming.

In her current position at Binghamton, considered one of New York’s top public universities, Elizabeth leads all aspects of the Harpur College, where she oversees more than 40 academic departments and interdisciplinary programs, and more than 100 undergraduate majors and 60 graduate programs. The largest and oldest college at Binghamton, Harpur College has more than 9,600 undergraduate students and 1,200 master’s and doctoral students.

At UMass Amherst, Elizabeth served in several academic leadership positions, including associate vice chancellor for research and engagement, associate dean for research and programs in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, chair of the Department of Anthropology, and founder and former director of the Center for Heritage & Society. She received her master’s and doctorate in anthropology at UMass Amherst.

My thanks to Bryan Slinker for his invaluable service as interim provost and executive vice president. He has provided committed and thoughtful direction as we navigate this unprecedented time in our history. The University owes him our deep gratitude.

I also want to publicly thank search advisory cochairs Stacy Pearson and Julie Kmec and the rest of the search committee for their outstanding work in identifying a pool of very talented candidates from across the country for this position. We are indebted to you.

Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth and her husband Michael Sugerman to the Cougar family. Michael will join the College of Arts and Sciences as a career track associate professor of anthropology.

Go Cougs!

Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University