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Central Washington University

CWU Announces Shift in University Leadership

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University President James L. Gaudino today announced, with regret, that Chief of Staff Sherer Holter will retire from CWU in June.

"June will be here before we know it and I know how much I'm going to miss Sherer's common sense and good humor," said Gaudino, noting that Holter's departure also would leave a leadership gap in the university's administration. "Sherer's carried an enormous workload and made it look easy. We've been very lucky to have her innovative and disciplined leadership through some very tough times."

Holter was appointed chief of staff July 1, 2010. She came to CWU in 2006 as the assistant vice president for Human Resources. Prior to her service at CWU, Holter was director of the Human Resources Division of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and, before that, she held a similar position with the City of Denver, Colorado.

Gaudino said Holter's deep background in human resource management was instrumental in guiding the university through challenging budgetary and organizational transitions.

"Four years ago, we needed expertise and strength in human resources to protect the university from catastrophic budget cuts. Sherer's innovative strategies saved nearly 100 jobs," recalled Gaudino of a period that saw state funding fall by 50 percent. 

For the past 12 months, Holter has overseen the iCAT project, a massive transfer of antiquated paper systems to digital ones, a transition that will save time and money with faster, more efficient administrative systems. 

"After tremendous leadership through four years of significant organizational and cultural change, Sherer's now helping CWU adapt to a new era that demands the use of technology that students expect and that the university needs for a rich, efficient, and accessible educational environment," said Gaudino, adding that the complex project is on time and on budget.

As chief of staff, Holter also has served as secretary to the CWU Board of Trustees. Board chair Sid Morrison said Holter's leadership has inspired confidence and empowerment in those with whom she works. 

"Sherer Holter is a woman of achievement and integrity," said Morrison. "She distinguishes herself by thinking way down the road and taking every step to ease the way for others." 

Gaudino said that Holter's accomplishments span a wide and diverse spectrum of projects. She was instrumental in setting up the Ellensburg-Yakima commuter bus and opening the doors of a CWU office in Seattle. Holter directed comprehensive assessments of the university's varsity and club sport programs, and enterprise technology systems. She also launched an in-depth review of the university's more than 300 operational policies and procedures, many of which were decades old and had never been updated.

Holter holds a law degree from Western State University College of Law, and a master of education degree in business education and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,


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