CWU News

CWU Retains Nationally-Recognized Firm for Presidential Search

The Central Washington University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved retaining R. William Funk and Associates of Dallas, Texas for executive search services relating to the search for a new president of the University.

During the past 35 years, Funk and Associates has recruited more than 425 college and university presidents and chancellors, for institutions ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large public universities.

The firm has recruited chancellors/presidents for two-thirds of all public AAU universities. Additionally, it has been recognized by the Women's Network of the American Council on Education (ACE) for its work in recruiting women and minorities to senior levels of higher education.

The firm has broken the color and/or gender line in president searches at more than 40 institutions around the country. More information about the company is available at

CWU President James L. Gaudino, who has served in that role since January 2009, announced in late February that he will step down from his post on July 31, 2021.

Board chair Ron Erickson said the trustees were appreciative of the early notice, as it provides the board time for a thorough, national search. He said experience and quality of service were key considerations in the selection of Funk and Associates.

“We received a total of 15 proposals, which the executive committee narrowed to four, whom we interviewed,” Erickson said. “That process and speaking with Mr. Funk’s previous clients made it clear to us that Mr. Funk would be a great choice for Central.”

Bill Funk, the firm’s chief executive officer, will join the board for a special meeting on March 31, in Ellensburg, as it establishes the procedures for the search. Erickson indicated that since the university’s last presidential search in 2008, there have been significant changes in the political, economic, demographic and technological environments.

“The president oversees an extraordinarily complex organization within a rapidly transforming environment,” said Erickson, noting the relatively recent inversion of state support models, the rapid shift in demography of university students, and the demand for and opportunities created by modern technology. “We need a resilient, innovative, and compassionate leader who understands the challenges facing higher education and embraces the history and mission of Central.”

In March, the board will begin discussing the best strategies for an effective and comprehensive presidential search. The meeting is open to the public.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, Secretary to the Board of Trustees, 509-963-1384,