The Opportunity

The Central Washington University Board of Trustees is conducting a search for the next president of Central Washington University. Current President James L. Gaudino has announced he will retire on July 31, 2021.

The CWU Board of Trustees will be looking for a dynamic leader with a passion for student success. The board is fully committed to conducting an equitable, inclusive, and comprehensive national search. The next president has the opportunity to build on the positive momentum CWU has enjoyed for the past decade, including nearly $500 million in new academic and residential facilities; increases in student diversity and recognition for inclusion by the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award; record enrollment growth, placing CWU in the top 45 nationally; faculty and staff who have earned national recognition for their achievements and outstanding quality.

The Position

The president reports directly to the Central Washington University Board of Trustees, and is the chief executive officer of the university. The president directs an executive leadership team that includes:

Additionally, the president directly oversees the following divisions:


The Board of Trustees will conduct a national search for a new university president. In the coming months, the process will include:

May-June 2020

Trustee Search Advisory Committee (TSAC) Spring Quarter listening sessions
The committee engages faculty and others in discussions about the qualities and experience necessary in presidential candidates, and the challenges and goals of the university the next president will have to address. The advisory committee will brief the search committee and Bill Funk as listening sessions are completed, an incorporate stakeholder feedback in the position profile and search considerations.

Bill Funk University Community Interviews
Mr. Funk will meet virtually with individuals and small groups of stakeholders to understand priorities and considerations for the search.

Late June 2020

TSAC meeting: TSAC interim report: Review and discuss the draft interim report summarizing listening session findings.

July-Sept 2020

TSAC listening sessions: Outreach to key stakeholders, which may include community members, alumni, CWU Foundation and advisory board members, and CWU employees.

July 23 & 24 2020
Regular board meeting in Ellensburg - Review advisability of launching the search and Interim TSAC report on listening sessions.


Late September 2020

Consultants review and score applicants, conduct preliminary reference/background checks; recommend semi-finalists. Board reviews the final TSAC (listening sessions) report.

October 2020

First or second week - Semi-finalist interviews.

November 2020

First or second week - Finalist interviews.

December 2020

Successful finalist appointed.