Washington State University said Tuesday it’s launching a nationwide search to replace Daniel Bernardo, who is stepping down after 14 years in top leadership roles at the school, including a year as interim president.
Bernardo plans to step down from his current role as provost and executive vice president, but will remain on the job until a permanent successor is appointed. Afterward, he will work part time as a “special adviser” to President Kirk Schulz, according to a news release.
“While I will look back fondly on these years, they have also taken a toll, and it is time for me to step back and direct more of my time and energy to my own health and well-being,” Bernardo wrote in a letter to faculty.
Bernardo, who holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from WSU, returned to his alma mater in 2005 as vice president for agriculture and extension programs, as well as dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.
Bernardo filled in as interim provost in 2013 and was tapped to fill the position permanently the following year. The provost is the school’s chief academic officer, tasked with overseeing instruction and the hiring of faculty and deans.
After President Elson Floyd died of cancer in June 2015, Bernardo led the school as interim president until Schulz started the job a year later.
“Dan deserves the gratitude of the entire WSU community for his selfless leadership,” Schulz said in a news release. “He has invested himself 110 percent in advancing the priorities of our university for more than a decade. I deeply appreciate his partnership since I arrived on campus, and I look forward to our future collaborations.”
WSU has hired a private firm to assist in recruiting Bernardo’s replacement. The university is also assembling a search committee that will be led by David Cillay, vice president for academic outreach and innovation. The school plans to appoint a new provost by the end of spring semester, in May.
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