National search begins for vice president for student affairs

PULLMAN, Wash. – A 19-member search committee representing a cross-section of the community will lead a national search to identify Washington State University’s next vice president for student affairs.

The university plans to hire a national executive search firm to help identify candidates. Officials hope to hire a new vice president by early spring 2017.

WSU President Kirk Schulz has made filling the position a priority given the important role student affairs staff and programs play in ensuring the success of the university’s students. Among the wide range of programs, facilities and opportunities managed by student affairs are university recreation, the Compton Union Building, multicultural student services, dining services, counseling and psychological services, and several programs to assist student retention efforts.

“Ensuring the success of our students – in the classroom and in life – is one of our top priorities,” Schulz said. “In fact, we are absolutely committed to providing a transformative educational experience for our undergraduate and graduate students.”

Under the direction of Melynda Huskey, interim vice president and dean of students, student affairs has achieved several notable distinctions:
• WSU Pullman ranks as a top 50 university nationally for LGBT students, one of only 7 ranked in the Pacific Northwest
• The Access Center accommodates more than 800 students with disabilities
• Staff oversee innovative peer-mentoring programs for students of color, first-generation students and students underrepresented in STEM disciplines

Huskey has served as interim vice president for student affairs since January 2015 when former vice president John Fraire left the university.

“We are indebted to Melynda for her leadership the past 18 months,” Schulz said. “She and the rest of her team have worked tirelessly to serve our students.”

Dave Cillay, vice president for academic outreach and innovation, will chair the search. The search committee includes:

• Erica Weintraub Austin, vice provost for academic affairs and professor and director of the Center for Media and Health Promotion
• Israa Alshaikhli, president, Associated Students of Washington State University Tri-Cities
• Terry Boston, associate vice president, administrative services and student affairs
• Pam Bradetich, senior associate director of athletics
• Douglas A. Cox, vice president of Columbia Bank, Pullman

• Taylor Christenson, president, Associated Students of Washington State University Pullman
• Catherine Elstad, associate dean of Honors College and clinical associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Bill Gardner, associate vice president and executive director of public safety and chief of police
• Meredyth Goodwin, director, Access Center
• Jeff Guillory, director, diversity education

• Larry (Chip) Hunter, dean and professor, Carson College of Business
• Adam Jussel, assistant dean of students and director of the student conduct office
• Max Kirk, university ombudsman and interim director and associate professor in the School of Design and Construction
• Joe Pitzer, partner in RE/MAX Home and Land Property Management, Pullman

• Susan Poch, assistant vice provost for student success and transition, Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
• Matthew Skinner, associate vice president, financial services
• Melanie Thornton, president, Graduate and Professional Student Association
• Nancy Youlden, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment, WSU Vancouver

For more information, contact chair Dave Cillay at 509-335-5188 or