WSU Tri-Cities sees increase in freshmen, starts search for chancellor

By the Tri-City HeraldAugust 21, 2012 

Washington State University Tri-Cities reported an increase of incoming freshmen Monday as its academic year began the same day the Richland campus formally launched its search for new chancellor.

WSU Tri-Cities has 100 freshmen enrolled for fall semester, up 10 students from the previous school year, said Melissa O'Neil Perdue, marketing and communications manager for the Richland campus.

Official enrollment totals won't be available until after the 10th day of classes, she said, but WSU Tri-Cities has an estimated 250 transfer students -- 55 more than last year.

"We still are admitting and registering transfer students, but we are up about 28 percent," Perdue said in an email to the Herald.

The overall preliminary headcount is 1,326, down from 1,439 a year ago today, she said.

"The decrease is largely because of a system-wide data management issue with graduate students and post-baccalaureate students that is affecting their ability to register for classes," Perdue said. "We are hoping this is resolved before the 10th day enrollment count, which is announced sometime after Labor Day."

On Monday afternoon, a 17-member committee was appointed to lead the search for the next chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities.

The committee will recommend top candidates to WSU President Elson S. Floyd. R. William Funk & Associates, a search firm based in Dallas that specializes in higher education leadership, will assist the committee.

The search committee includes seven members of faculty and staff at WSU Tri-Cities, one from Spokane, one from Pullman, one WSU Tri-Cities student, and seven business leaders in the Tri-Cities, most of them members of the campus advisory council.

Co-chairmen are Mike Kluse, director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and chair of the WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Council, and Danny Talbot, Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education program at WSU Tri-Cities.

The opening was created in July when Vicky L. Carwein resigned as chancellor to lead Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Candidate screening will begin immediately, and the new chancellor is expected to take office by July 1.

Committee members are: Kluse; Talbot; Birgitte Ahring, director, Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy, WSU Tri-Cities; Stephanie Bauman, associate professor, psychology, WSU Tri-Cities; Rich Cummins, president, Columbia Basin College; Amber Eubanks, president, Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities; Allan Felsot, professor, entomology, WSU Tri-Cities; Brad Fisher, senior vice president, RBC Wealth Management; pastchairman of advisory council; Bob Lewis, associate professor, computer science, WSU Tri-Cities; Wayne Martin, product line manager, PNNL and advisory council; Shiloh Penland, program coordinator, financial aid & scholarships, WSU Tri-Cities; Brian Pitcher, chancellor, WSU Spokane (ex officio); Lura Powell, chairwoman, Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund Board of Trustees; Mike Schwenk, director, technology deployment and outreach, PNNL and advisory council; Lori Selby, vice chancellor, finance and administration, WSU Tri-Cities; Albert Torres, publisher, Tu Decides Media and advisory council; Chris Hoyt, legal affairs associate, president's office, WSU Pullman.

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