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EWU president search narrowed to three candidates

Sixty candidates to succeed retiring Eastern Washington University President Rodolfo Arévalo are down to three.

They are: Mary Cullinan, Southern Oregon University president; Tim Mescon, Columbus State University president; and Rex Fuller, provost and vice president for academic affairs at EWU, the university announced on Friday.

• Cullinan has been president of Southern Oregon University, located in Ashland, Ore, since 2006. She served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas from 2003 to 2006.

Prior to that, she held several positions at California State University, where she worked through the ranks, according to EFL Associates, the Kansas-based search firm that recruited the candidates.

While serving in leadership roles at the three universities, Cullinan simultaneously taught English courses.

She’s published four books, including “American Women Writers: Diverse Voices in Prose Since 1845,” and published several articles.

• Mescon has served as president of Columbus State University in Georgia since 2008. He started as an assistant professor at Arizona State University in 1978. Since 1982, Mescon has held leadership positions at the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration, Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business and Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business, according to EFL Associates.

He’s published dozens of articles about business policy and strategic management in a variety of journals and magazines as well as served as editor for numerous publications.

• Fuller has served in his role at EWU since 2010 and held leadership roles at the college since 2006. Two recent accomplishments include the development of the College of Health Science and Public Health and helping bargain fair market value wages for faculty, resulting in increased wages for many of them.

Fuller, a Harvard University graduate, first worked at the University of Wisconsin starting in 1981. He worked his way up from lecturer to dean over the course of seven years.

He left in 2000 to take a position as dean of Colorado State University’s Hasan School of Business, according to EFL Associates.

He’s published numerous articles on topics from the importance of higher education in the economy to the process of university presidential searches to differences in salaries for men and women.

The candidates will be on EWU’s campus from May 29 and June 5 for interviews and an opportunity to interact with students, faculty, staff and community members, said university spokesman Dave Meany. They will also visit the EWU Spokane campus at Riverpoint.

Arévalo, who became EWU’s president in 2006, announced his retirement in January. He plans to leave the position in July.


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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.