CWU News

CWU Welcomes New Associate Provost, Extended Learning and Outreach

Central Washington University Provost/Vice President for Academic and Student Life Katherine Frank has announced that Gayla Stoner will join CWU as its associate provost for Extended Learning and Outreach. Stoner will begin her new position on September 16.

“We are all extremely excited Dr. Stoner will be joining us soon,” Frank said. “Her extensive experience in delivering innovative and transformative programs for all learners makes her an excellent fit for Central.”

Stoner’s interest in CWU stemmed from her own experiences as a non-traditional learner. “I have experienced the challenges of returning to school as an adult learner, while raising a family and working full-time,” Stoner said. “CWU’s history of commitment to provide access to higher education through alternative program delivery models is outstanding! I am excited to lead the community outreach efforts to support the center offerings of high-quality programs.”

Stoner currently serves as executive director of UIC Extended Campus at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In this post, Stoner provides administrative leadership and oversight to the development and expansion of programs at UIC, including the delivery of both for-credit and non-credit online programs. She also administers the university’s summer session undergraduate courses. Additionally, she has led a university-wide call to faculty to design and develop new distance education courses and programs.

Prior to UIC, for 17 years Stoner worked at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, including as director of the Extended Campus, where she oversaw university-wide development of on- and off-campus initiatives, including summer and winter session.

Stoner said her research interests are directed toward meeting the needs of all postsecondary students, coupled with a desire to initiate and establish collaborative partnerships among higher education institutions, communities, and industries.

“I have an additional interest in enabling access and opportunity for all people interested in achieving educational goals,” she said.

She has accomplished this through her continuing collaboration and leadership of the development and governance of national policies and regulations associated with higher education institutions, including recent service as the elected co-president of the Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education.

Stoner was also invited to serve on a university system wide panel on, “Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership,” at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association annual meeting in Chicago in March. The Hallmarks provide guidance and support to first-generation leaders in online education. In addition, she researched and co-wrote the article “21st Century Apprenticeships: Embracing Nontraditional Partnerships and Technologies,” which was published in Techniques Journal.

For her efforts, Stoner has been selected as an Emerging Leader by the prestigious Sloan-C and Penn State Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning.

She earned her Master of Science and PhD in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,