Announcing my plans for retirement in 2025

Dear WSU community,

As the 2023–24 academic year comes to a close, I am completing my eighth year serving as president of Washington State University. Noel and I were formally introduced to WSU in March of 2016 and have thoroughly enjoyed leading our university since that time.

I informed the WSU Regents in June 2023 that it was time to start formally planning for my retirement as WSU President. After significant discussion last fall with the Board of Regents and professional colleagues, I informed the board of my intention to step down as WSU President effective June 2025. Today, I am partnering with the Board of Regents to announce my retirement and formally initiate the search for my successor.

A successful transition in leadership takes time and careful planning, and I want to ensure that the WSU community and Board of Regents have plenty of time to conduct a national search for the 12th President of Washington State University. The opportunity to serve as president at WSU will be a highly sought-after position that will attract experienced, nationally recognized thought leaders in public higher education.

As I reflect on my time as WSU president, I am proud of the many positive achievements we have accomplished together. We have successfully funded and launched the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; seen record levels of philanthropic giving supporting faculty, staff, and students; and have enjoyed unparalleled success across Cougar Athletics — both on the field and in the classroom. I am a strong believer in hiring talented leaders and giving them the opportunities to thrive and grow — and am proud of assembling a dynamic group of chancellors, deans, and vice presidents.

Over this next academic year, I will focus my time and energy on stabilizing our enrollment, initiating a system‑wide strategic administrative and programmatic review, determining a long‑term home for Cougar Athletics, and continuing to aggressively fundraise as part of our current comprehensive fundraising campaign.

At the conclusion of my time as president, I will be taking a year of leave to do some writing and mentoring of leaders in public higher education. My plan is to remain in Washington and to support my successor as they seek to lead WSU to greater heights in the coming years. Noel plans to continue her work as inaugural Director of the Institute for Northwest Energy Futures on the WSU Tri‑Cities campus, and we both look forward to continued interactions with Cougs throughout the state of Washington and beyond.

It has been an incredible honor and the highlight of my career to serve at WSU. I look forward to the year ahead.

Go Cougs,

President, WSU System