News & Briefs

News & Briefs

CWU’s Presidential Search Update

The search for President James L. Gaudino’s successor began last May when the Trustee Search Advisory Committee began meetings with what would total nearly 430 employees, students, alumni, and other stakeholders.

Several strong themes emerged from these listening sessions, including the challenges of adapting to and leveraging changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic; developing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the university; and creating innovative strategies to address financial challenges.

Stakeholders said the ideal candidates would demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and shared governance. They also indicated that candidates should show an understanding of emerging technologies and the opportunities they offer for enriching teaching, learning, and student services.

Additionally, participants called for candidates with high emotional intelligence and broad higher education experience—from budget and operations, to academics and student life.

The presidential search attracted more than 80 applications from all over the world before the September 30 deadline. In mid-October, the Search Advisory Committee interviewed the top ten candidates and recommended finalists to the Board of Trustees on October 30. The trustees will interview the finalists in November and hope to announce CWU’s next president in December.

Campus Safety Remains a Priority

In response to continuing concern about the COVID-19 virus, CWU has restricted the number of students permitted to live on campus in fall 2020 to 1,600. Typically, more than 4,000 students live in campus residence halls and apartments. The restriction allows for single occupancy in residence hall rooms and no sharing of common restroom facilities.

Additionally, all individuals on university property must wear face coverings and practice physical distancing, which experts say is the most effective way to control the spread of the virus.

Fall 2020 classes are being delivered online, in-person, or using hybrid teaching methods. In addition to regularly cleaning classrooms and public spaces, the university reconfigured learning spaces so that students are safely seated at least six feet apart. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been stationed at the entrance to each classroom and signing has been installed that reinforces safety restrictions and promoting appropriate behavior such as regular hand-washing and avoiding crowded environments.

Since the situation is fluid and subject to change, the university has established a website with updated information at:

Governor Appoints New Student Trustee

Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Nathaniel McMillion to serve as the student trustee on CWU Board of Trustees for the 2020-21 academic year. McMillion, a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in Africana and Black Studies, served as CWU’s Black Student Union (BSU) president last year. He has been involved in the university’s Brother 2 Brother chapter and Cross Cultural Leadership Program. The native of Spanaway, who now lives in Kent, also serves on the public relations team at the Diversity and Equity Center.

GNAC Suspends Fall Sports Due to COVID Concerns

Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), which includes CWU, has suspended all intercollegiate athletic competitions in the fall and delayed winter sports activities. “I’m disappointed, as I know our student-athletes are—especially our seniors—and all members of Wildcat Nation,” said President James L. Gaudino. “But the conference is making the appropriate decision, placing a priority on the health and safety of everyone involved in our athletic programs.”

VP Cleary Joins Regional Accreditation Board

CWU’s vice president of inclusivity and diversity has been elected to serve as a commissioner for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Delores “Kandee” Cleary was named one of four new NWCCU commissioners earlier this year, and she began her three-year term in late June. As a commissioner, she will help rate more than 160 higher education institutions in the region for performance, integrity, and quality.

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