Officials with Washington State University Tri-Cities announced the first candidate for the university's vacant chancellor position Friday afternoon.
Karla V. Hughes, provost and vice president of academic affairs for Morehead State University in Kentucky, will visit the Richland campus Feb. 8 for interviews and a public forum, said a news release.
More candidates are expected to be announced in the coming days, university officials said.
The university, which has about 1,400 students and is one of three urban campuses in the WSU system, has searched for a new chancellor since Vicky Carwein left last summer for the chancellor's position at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
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James R. Pratt, vice chancellor for academic affairs, has been interim chancellor since Carwein left.
A 17-member search committee appointed by WSU President Elson S. Floyd has worked with consultants to find a new chancellor in time for the 2013-14 academic year.
About 30 to 40 candidates were being considered in late November. Committee members said it was a strong pool to choose from.
Hughes has been at Morehead State, in Lexington, Ken., since February 2007. The university has 11,000 students. Before that, she was founding dean of the College of Human Ecology at East Carolina University in North Carolina.
She has a doctorate in agriculture focused in animal science from the University of Tennessee and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas State University.
Hughes will meet with the search committee, administrators, faculty and students, as well as local business leaders during her visit.
She'll make a presentation on community partnerships, campus engagement and the chancellor's role during the public forum and will answer questions.
The forum is from 12:10 to 1:15 p.m. in the auditorium of the East Building on the Richland campus. Community members are encouraged to attend.