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Central Washington University

CWU Board of Trustees Expands Scope of Search Advisory Committee

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Central Washington University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to expand the responsibilities of the Trustee Search Advisory Committee (TSAC) to include conducting a preliminary screening of candidates for the next university president.

Since being appointed by the board in May, the TSAC has met with nearly 400 CWU stakeholders to identify the challenges the next leader will face, and the qualities that person will need to be successful. The chair of the Board of Trustees, Ron Erickson, said the extensive insight committee members garnered from the discussions had prepared them well to narrow the field of applicants for the position.

“This is a great committee that has done a phenomenal job engaging the university community in this important process,” Erickson said. “They have their finger on the pulse of what we’re looking for in our next president, so we should take full advantage of their insight.”

Erickson said the only change to the TSAC membership would be to ask the new Faculty Senate chair, Elvin Delgado, to participate. Last year’s chair, Walter Szeliga, already is serving on the TSAC. Erickson explained that the TSAC would narrow the field of applicants to a group of semi-finalists, who would be interviewed by the Board of Trustees in October, producing a short list of finalists.

TSAC co-chair and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, Robert Nellams, said it made sense to have the committee help in the “winnowing” process of reviewing candidates. He said he had been impressed by the passion and level of engagement of committee members during 18 meetings with 384 participants.

A preliminary report on the first 12 listening sessions is available at cwu.edu/presidential-search. The committee has continued to meet with stakeholders and will deliver an updated, Interim Report to the Board of Trustees on July 24. That document will add information from exempt and classified employees, the CWU Foundation and Alumni boards, general alumni, the Wildcat Club board, advisory boards of the academic colleges, and student organizations.

Current CWU President James L. Gaudino announced earlier this year that he will step down on July 31, 2021.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, chief of staff and secretary to the board, 509-607-4103 schactler@cwu.edu.

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