September 2019

Provost Perspective

Closeup of Dr. Bryan Slinker.

Slinker named Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

President Kirk Schulz announced Bryan Slinker will serve as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President, effective Monday, September 30. Slinker had served as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine for more than 10 years and is a double alumnus of WSU. Slinker will be responsible for overseeing all academic programs and providing leadership for academic administrative operations and enrollment management functions.


Laura Griner Hill joins Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost is pleased to welcome Laura Griner Hill as vice provost for faculty development and affairs. Hill will begin in her new role October 1 and will advise the provost, deans, chancellors, vice chancellors for academic affairs, department chairs, and school directors on system‑side policy and procedural matters related to faculty, and on personnel issues related faculty, as they arise.

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Join in on WSU’s strategic planning

The WSU community is invited to take part in a visioning conference to help form the foundation for WSU’s system‑wide strategic plan. The event will take place October 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at each campus and locations across the WSU system. Register now to join the discussion, which will be considered in the drafting of the 2020–2025 strategic plan.

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Drive to 25

Median SAT scores of incoming freshmen increases

WSU welcomed a record 31,607 students for the fall semester, setting another enrollment record. System‑wide enrollment increased for the seventh straight year and the academic profile of incoming students continues to climb. Of the 4,812 first‑time, full‑time students, 2,335 (48.9 percent) had a high school GPA of higher than 3.5, and another 1,064 (22.3 percent) had a GPA between 3.25 and 3.5.

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Student Success

WSU welcomes new resources for veterans

Penny Martinez and James Dalton are part of a team of advocates and support staff system‑wide for WSU’s student veterans. Martinez joined WSU’s staff as veterans coordinator in August, and brings her military background and years of service to the position. Dalton is WSU’s new Vet Corps navigator and teaches a course designed to smooth veterans’ transition to university life.

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Faculty Development

Crimson Club connection leads to collaboration

A casual conversation at Faculty Crimson Club turned into a valuable research partnership for Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture faculty members Idil Akin and John McCloy. Crimson Club is a monthly event sponsored by the Office of the Provost designed to facilitate conversation and to celebrate the contributions of faculty system‑wide.

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Link Up

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Faculty hiring and inclusive excellence

Working with Human Resource Services, the Office of the Provost is aiming to provide helpful resources for faculty hiring committees to strive for inclusive excellence. Implicit bias training is underway, and this best practices checklist can help committees keep track of the various stages and ways in which searches can be optimized. Inclusive excellence practices should be weaved in from the beginning of the search, including the ways in which a position listing is worded and where the ad is disseminated. Further resources and information will be made available soon through the HRS Faculty Recruitment Toolkit website.

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College Highlights

Naidu Rayapati, scientist and director at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Prosser, has joined a five-year project helping Hispanic and Native American students develop careers in STEM. Funded through a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant, the project will offer learning experiences at the IAREC that give underrepresented students a confident start to STEM careers.

Wendy Williams-Gilbert, clinical associate professor and RN‑BSN director in the College of Nursing, was recognized as The Spokesman-Review’s Woman of the Year for her efforts as an advocate for rural health care and education. Williams-Gilbert has been a WSU faculty member since 2015 and her research focuses on equal access to health care in rural areas as well as opioid‑use disorders.

Katrina Mealey, professor and Richard L. Ott Endowed Chair in Small Animal Medicine and Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine, received the Lloyd E. Davis Award from the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (AAVPT). The award recognizes outstanding lifetime achievements in research, teaching, and professional service in the field. Mealey was also named a Distinguished Fellow of the AAVPT.