It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing the end of fall semester! I must say that experiencing the vibrancy of a fully in-person Pullman campus lives up to what I had imagined during my (remote!) interview process.
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Washington State University Pullman.

Update from the WSU Pullman Chancellor-Designate

Dear faculty and staff,

It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing the end of fall semester! I must say that experiencing the vibrancy of a fully in‑person Pullman campus lives up to what I had imagined during my (remote!) interview process. I have loved connecting with our students, faculty, and staff face-to-face and have felt warmly welcomed into the Cougar family these past 16 months. I also want to send a huge congratulations to the Cougar Football team and Coach Dickert for bringing the Apple Cup back to its rightful home on the Palouse!

When not on campus, Michael and I (and our two dogs) have greatly enjoyed exploring the Palouse and immersing ourselves into the Pullman community. I recently joined the Palouse Chorale Society. We just hosted our first performance for the season, and it was wonderful to see so many people out enjoying live music again! As a leader, I am committed to strengthening the great town-gown relationship that Kirk and Noel Schulz have established here on the Palouse. A true college town, Pullman offers a rich and welcoming environment for our students, faculty, and staff, and I look forward to working with Jeanne Weiler, Director of WSU Pullman Community and Public Affairs, to enhance WSU’s collaborations with our greater community.

As I step into the dual role of Provost and WSU Pullman Chancellor over the next several months, I look forward to meeting more of you and hearing your ideas on how to build on the strength of our flagship campus. As President Schulz mentioned in his October letter, we are actively working with Cougar Athletics, International Programs, Research, and Student Affairs to ensure a successful transition and I am enjoying getting to know the staff and learning how best to support each of these units.

A true passion of mine is student success; the goal of this and every great university is to prepare our students for the many twists, turns, and opportunities that life has to offer. I have been greatly impressed by all the great work and efforts to support our students both inside and out of the classroom in the Division of Student Affairs, in Academic Affairs, in our school and colleges, and across the campus. To better understand the current landscape, Interim Vice President Ellen Taylor and I, as well as staff from both of our offices, have initiated an effort to inventory the programs, services, and initiatives directed at student success on the Pullman campus. The goal is to gain a rich understanding of the strong and successful programs we have in place—enabling us to establish or enhance working relationships to best support the onboarding, retention, and graduation of our students. Our intent is not the elimination or reduction of services; instead, we aim to create more effective networks and fill any service gaps identified. This mapping exercise is a major step creating a campus-wide shared vision for student success on the Pullman campus. We will update you all on those efforts early in the spring semester.

I am also working with Dean Mary Rezac, Vice Provost Craig Parks, Associate Vice President Jaime Nolan and the WSU Pullman strategic planning team to develop our first-ever Pullman campus strategic plan. This is an opportunity to engage university colleagues in the creation of a strategic plan that identifies and celebrates what makes our campus distinctive, all while supporting the principles and goals of the WSU system. Similar to our other campus strategic plans, the WSU Pullman plan will be developed with a community-centered mindset—decisions made for WSU Pullman directly impact our surrounding communities.

I like to think of the implementation of the vision for OneWSU as a dial, not a switch. As we continue to create a unique identity for the Pullman campus, the transition team will be evaluating the structure for the system president, system provost, and Pullman Chancellor offices. Because of the breadth of the dual position of Provost and Chancellor, we intend to engage in a highly deputized structure, with delegated authority where appropriate in order to maintain timely and effective support and leadership. The establishment of a leadership and organizational structure for WSU Pullman will be a process that unfolds over the next couple of years, and I am excited to go on that journey will all of you.

In sum, I am honored to be taking on the role of the inaugural Chancellor of the Pullman campus. In the coming months, I will be meeting with colleagues across campus, with the support of President Schulz, to lead our campus operations. I am committed to continuing to learn more about our campus and system and getting out to meet more and more of our faculty, staff, and students in person. I welcome your ideas or thoughts and I invite you to share them to

Go Cougs!

Elizabeth S. Chilton
Provost and Executive Vice President
WSU Pullman Chancellor-Designate

University Marketing & Communications, Washington State University
PO Box 641227, Pullman, WA 99164‑1227