July 29, 2021
As we gear up for an in‑person fall semester, I am delighted to
announce that Dr. Elizabeth Chilton, WSU’s Provost and Executive
Vice President, has accepted the role of WSU Pullman Chancellor,
and will officially start in her new, dual role July 1, 2022.
January of this year, I detailed a need to
separate the role of the WSU System President and the WSU Pullman Chancellor.
other five campuses, the Pullman campus has a unique identity that
is both separate from, and supports the success of, our WSU system.
By combining the chancellor and provost roles, WSU will be able to
maintain its commitment to academic excellence and student success.
As I mentioned in my September 2020 campus letter, WSU Pullman is
the system’s largest and most established campus, earning it the
moniker of “flagship campus.” Dr. Chilton’s redefined role will
capitalize on the expansive scholarship and research happening at
the flagship campus, while preserving and enhancing the elements
of the academic enterprise that have made WSU so successful.
Over the course of the summer, WSU’s Vice President for Human
Resource Services and Chief Human Resource Officer, Theresa
Elliot‑Cheslek, engaged each of our vice presidents in an exercise
to help shape our organizational structure. This several weeks-long
exercise took a deep dive into which roles and responsibilities
were happening at the system level, and which were happening at
the campus level. This crucial feedback helped to develop our
new leadership structure, which will be implemented July 1, 2022.
The biggest changes of note, in addition to the appointment of
the WSU Pullman Chancellor, is the change in reporting structure
for Cougar Athletics, International Programs, the Office of
Research, and the Division of Student Affairs. With this
transition, Athletic Director Pat Chun, Vice President Asif
Chaudhry, Vice President Chris Keane, and Vice President Mary Jo
Gonzales will formally assume roles as WSU Pullman Vice Chancellors
for their respective areas. Effective July 1, 2022, these four
leaders will report to the WSU Pullman Chancellor. Appointing
these area leaders to expanded roles that include a focus on
WSU Pullman will allow our flagship campus to grow and maintain
an identity that is separate from that of the WSU system.
Effective immediately, I have charged a team, led by the
President’s and Provost’s offices, to manage the transition
over the next year. Additionally, this team will be working with
subgroups in Athletics, International Programs, Research, and
Student Affairs to ensure a smooth and thoughtful transition. We
will also be engaging a set of working groups across the system
including academic and faculty affairs, finance and
administration, and student success to provide recommendations
for a successful evolution. Finally, over the course of the next
year, we will develop what the appropriate structure looks like
for the WSU System Office.
Since arriving at WSU, I have heard from many of you about
your desire to better serve your local communities. This evolution
is the first step in our recommitment to our land‑grant mission of
providing education to all, regardless of means or background. The
OneWSU system will better support our campuses and local
communities by allowing an appropriate level of autonomy for each
location, while at the same time ensuring a consistent WSU mission,
branding, and quality. I look forward to discussing this with you
in more detail at our town halls this fall. In the meantime, I hope
you all are enjoying the last few weeks of summer!
See you in August,
Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University