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News >  Higher education

Eastern Washington, Whitworth universities enlist search committees for new presidents

April 21, 2021 Updated Wed., April 21, 2021 at 8:56 p.m.

The boards of trustees for Eastern Washington and Whitworth universities are moving forward in the search for the next full-time leaders of their institutions.

EWU trustees moved during a special meeting Monday to establish the makeup of an 18-member search committee and is accepting nominations, according to the university. Whitworth’s trustees moved Friday to recognize the members of a 17-person search group.

The EWU search comes after former President Mary Cullinan stepped down in August after six years on the job. She was replaced in the interim by David May.

May, who had been the school’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, is eligible to apply for the permanent position. May is interested in the role and has said he would discuss it with his family, said EWU spokesman Dave Meany.

In addition to forming a search committee, the EWU board will issue a request for proposals to find a consultant to help with a nationwide search, the university announced Tuesday. The search could take up to a year, EWU officials said.

EWU’s 18-member search committee will include the following:

• Four trustees, one of whom will serve as committee chair

• One EWU college dean; three faculty members (one from the United Faculty of Eastern, one from the Faculty Organization and one faculty-at-large)

• Two classified employees (one from the Washington Federation of State Employees union; one classified-at-large); one exempt employee

• One public school employee

• Two EWU students

• One EWU Foundation board member; one alumni board member and

• Two community members

The board will accept search committee nominations until 5 p.m. May 7 via email, at, or through the board of trustees website,

“One of the most important responsibilities of the board of trustees is to select the university’s president,” Board of trustees Chair Vicki Wilson said in a statement. “We encourage the campus community to fully engage in this process.”

Whitworth, meanwhile, is seeking to replace Beck Taylor, who will take on the presidency at Samford University after approximately 11 years at Whitworth. His interim replacement, Scott McQuilkin, has indicated he does not intend to apply for the full-time position.

The committee is aiming to have the university’s 19th president in office by 2022. The university has launched a webpage at with additional information on the search.

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