CWU News

CWU Names Katherine Frank Vice President for Academic and Student Life

Katherine FrankCentral Washington University has appointed Katherine Frank provost/vice president for academic and student life. Frank is the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). There, she oversees the university’s largest college, which includes a School of the Arts, ten academic departments, and five centers.

President James L. Gaudino said Frank’s sharp intellect and broad experience leading a large and diverse college garnered support of faculty, staff, and trustees alike.

“Dr. Frank has demonstrated success in smart management of people, programs, and budgets,” said Gaudino, who collected feedback on candidates via an anonymous online venue as well as by meeting personally with interview groups. “Several people commented on Dr. Frank’s commitment to student success and listening to how our systems are serving them.” 

Gaudino said Frank’s experience with responsibility-center management positions her for success as provost. The university will fully implement the decentralized approach to decision-making in a year, said Gaudino, adding that the provost would need to mentor academic leaders over the next 12 months in order to effect the change. He said Frank's strategic approach to managing organizations and to charting academic and financial development also prepared her for the position.

Frank said she was thrilled to be joining CWU and honored to have been selected as the next Provost and VP for Academic and Student Life.

“CWU is a community made up of dedicated faculty and staff who put students first and are focused on student success during college and beyond,” she said. “A genuine institutional investment in the local community and larger region is important to me and it is evident that CWU shares this priority. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to build on CWU’s strong foundation and engage in the innovative thinking and strategic development that will help define the future of this special institution.”

Frank begins her new position on July 1.

Frank is the former Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indiana University East. During her tenure, she oversaw a restructuring of that institution’s largest school, with ten undergraduate programs, three of which were delivered at campus satellite centers.

Frank served at Colorado State University-Pueblo for 10 years, serving as Chair of English and Foreign Languages and the Writing Program Administrator. At Pueblo she also was the founding director of the Southern Colorado Writing Project and founding director of the first-year experience program.

Frank’s research interests include Romantic and Victorian English Literature, rhetoric and composition, literary theory, the scholarship of teaching, and academic leadership. She has published numerous academic articles on topics ranging from the role of libraries in sustainable dual-credit programs to effective enrollment management strategies, as well as a composition textbook, (Re)actions: Affecting Change through Inquiry-Based Writing.

She earned her B.A in English from Bates College and her M.A and Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington.

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