CWU News

CWU Announces Frederika Harmsen as Third Provost Candidate

The Central Washington University Provost Search Committee has announced Frederika “Fraka” Harmsen, currently Special Assistant to the President on Sustainability Initiatives at California State University, Sacramento, as the third candidate for the position of Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Life.

Harmsen is scheduled to visit Central and meet with the search committee on April 15. A campus-wide open forum will be held on April 14 from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in Shaw 115.

Harmsen earned her B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Geology from Victoria University in New Zealand. A Professor of Geology, she has also served as the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at CSU Sacramento, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at CSU Chico, and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, which followed several years as the Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences at CSU Fresno. In 1989-90, Harmsen was the visiting scientist at San Jose State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratory.

Harmsen has also served on numerous system and campus-wide committees and has led initiatives in student success and retention, strategic planning, technology and program enhancement, research and creative activities, academic policy and planning, and diversity. While Provost at CSU Sacramento, she managed a complex budget of $134 million, and is highly experienced in fundraising and donor development.

She is a strong advocate for higher education and has worked closely with the California legislature. Her major accomplishments include leadership in the innovative use of technology in teaching and learning, and promotion of excellence in academic practice; growing the university’s global footprint, and the founding of a highly interdisciplinary Institute for Water, Energy, Sustainability and Technology (iWEST).

Her recent research has focused in three broad areas: climate change and sustainability, marine habitat mapping for ecosystem based management, and STEM education.  She has numerous publications and reports, and over $3 million in federal funding that has supported 56 graduate and undergraduate students.

Media contact: Rich Moreno, director of content development, 509-963-2714,