It’s hard to believe that next week begins our Week of Welcome, as we celebrate the launch of a new academic year and extend a warm welcome to our new and returning faculty, staff, and students. This is my favorite time of year as our whole community buzzes with activity, both on and off campus.
I am also excited to share that starting this fall, I’ll be launching a blog series full of campus updates, exciting news, Coug Kudos, and much, much more. I’m looking forward to more opportunities to engage with all of you.
As the inaugural Pullman Chancellor, I have spent much of the past year and a half working with my colleagues to form the WSU Pullman leadership team and define their roles and responsibilities. I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to members of my leadership team. Though none of these individuals are new to WSU, they all work diligently to keep our campus running smoothly and ensure that everyone has an incredible Cougar experience.
Asif Chaudhry—Vice President and Vice Chancellor, International Programs
Ambassador Asif Chaudhry became the vice president for international programs (IP) at Washington State University in June 2015 and assumed a dual role as vice chancellor for international programs for WSU Pullman in 2022. He is the chief international relations officer at the University and is responsible for IP’s role in carrying out WSU’s mission of global engagement. Ambassador Chaudhry manages WSU’s extensive internationalization program that focuses on establishing strategic partnerships with governments and educational institutions across the globe.
Lisa Guerrero—Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusive Excellence
Dr. Lisa Guerrero has been an active advocate for equity and social justice since joining WSU in 2004 as faculty in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Dr. Guerrero joined the Provost’s office in 2020 as the associate vice provost for equity and inclusive excellence, providing leadership to academic affairs in implementing WSU’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In 2022, Dr. Guerrero became the inaugural vice chancellor for equity and inclusive excellence for WSU Pullman, where she draws on the work she began in her associate vice provost’s role and is working collaboratively with campus units to develop and implement equity-minded practices and programs.
Ryan Hardesty—Executive Director, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU
Ryan Hardesty joined Washington State University’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art curatorial team in 2014 as curator of art and exhibitions. Ryan was named the executive director of the Museum in 2021 and has had a profound impact on growing and diversifying the exhibitions and programming. Prior to coming to WSU, Hardesty held a 12-year tenure at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) Spokane, where he planned for 80+ exhibitions. Ryan had previously reported to the Provost, but with my appointment as Chancellor, it made sense to move his reporting line to reflect the critical role that the Museum plays on the Pullman campus.
Chris Keane—Vice President and Vice Chancellor, Research
Dr. Christopher Keane joined Washington State University in 2014 as vice president for research and professor of physics and added the dual role of vice chancellor for research for WSU Pullman in 2022. Dr. Keane is also WSU’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO). Dr. Keane has reshaped the Office of Research and worked with faculty and staff to develop collaborations and initiatives that advance research, scholarship, and creativity at WSU, aiming to, in his words, “define and realize research opportunities that will strengthen WSU, the state of Washington, and our nation.”
Clif Stratton—Vice Chancellor for Academic Engagement
Dr. Clif Stratton began his position as vice chancellor for academic engagement in August of 2023. Dr. Stratton’s focus is on undergraduate education and student success for the flagship campus. He is working collaboratively to promote a seamless approach to student success inside and outside the classroom. Dr. Stratton joined WSU in 2010 as a visiting instructor and currently serves as a career-track associate professor in the Department of History and was the former director of WSU’s system-wide general education program (UCORE). Stratton led the collaborative launch of Core to Career—a cohort-based fellowship program designed to assist faculty in helping students recognize why career readiness is an essential marker of a college graduate.
Ellen Taylor—Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Dr. Ellen Taylor joined WSU as the associate vice president for student engagement in 2018 and began serving as interim vice president for student affairs in September 2021. She was named vice chancellor for student affairs in July 2022 when the position began reporting to the Pullman Chancellor. Dr. Taylor oversees 22 departments whose services encompass health and safety; student leadership, development, and engagement; student access and success; community, equity, and inclusion; and student facilities and essential services. She serves as an advisor and liaison to leaders across the university, working with other vice presidents, chancellors, and vice chancellors to ensure we implement consistent, accessible, and excellent programs and services to promote student success in its broadest sense. Dr. Taylor has announced her intent to retire in December, and a national search is underway for her successor.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet many of these individuals and other campus leaders at Convocation during the Week of Welcome. I hope to see you in Beasley and at the many Week of Welcome events! Meanwhile, best wishes for the remainder of the summer.
Elizabeth S. Chilton
WSU Pullman Chancellor