WSU Tri-Cities’ Chancellor Keith Moo-Young is stepping down.
The chancellor, who took the top job four years ago, announced plans to leave the spot after a successor is picked, likely early in 2018.
With new leadership at WSU in Pullman, the end of the academic year created an opportunity for change, said Jeff Dennison, director of marketing and communications at the Richland campus
The university named a new president, Kirk Schulz, in March 2016.
“Now was a good opportunity to embrace that change,” Dennison said.
The chancellor is in the beginning stages of planning for his next career move, he said.
Dennison did not have any further details about why university officials felt it was the correct time for a change.
Moo-Young, formerly dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology at California State University, Los Angeles, replaced Vicky Carwein in 2013.
Since he took the helm, the campus’ enrollment grew from roughly 1,400 students in the fall of 2013 to 1,825 students last semester. The campus is the most diverse in the WSU system, with 36 percent of the students identifying as minorities, 57 percent female and 37 percent first generation.
“Keith Moo-Young has led our Tri-Cities campus to a number of outstanding achievements the last four years from enrollment growth to establishment of strong partnerships with community groups through the greater Columbia Basin,” Schulz said.
At times, the growth stressed some faculty members. The addition of the Running Start program to the Richland campus, and its growth from 100 to 275 students within two years, caused concerns among some faculty that the administration was being too reckless in its recruitment.
The campus also experienced growth in the number of buildings and course offerings. Roughly two years ago, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center opened, with the goal of attracting researchers and students to study the challenges and opportunities facing the Pacific Northwest’s grape growers and winemakers.
His chancellorship also saw the start of a project to add student housing to campus, the creation of an $18 million Kadlec nursing professorship endowment and the creation of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
“With the tremendous support of the community, we accomplished a great deal to establish WSU Tri-Cities as a destination campus,” Moo-Young said. “I look forward to the future of the campus as the community continues to grow and develop.”
A national search firm will likely be hired to conduct the search for Moo-Young’s replacement, Dennison said. The details of the search are still unclear, but a news release said university officials are looking to hire a search firm immediately.
The university’s last search for a chancellor involved a 17-member search committee that brought Moo-Young and two other candidates to campus.