Central Washington University (CWU) is a top ranked public university serving 11,000 students enrolled in more than 160 undergraduate and master’s degree programs. Founded in 1891, the Ellensburg campus is located in the heart of Washington State, east of the majestic Cascade Mountain Range. Set in a small town, CWU is a welcoming community committed to diversity and inclusion and recognized for its LGBTQ and veteran friendly policies, programs, and practices. Education is personal at CWU—classes are small, professors are passionate about teaching, and student life professionals are focused on providing resources and services designed to help all students navigate the college experience with confidence and success.

The Position

The Responsibilities of the Position

The inaugural Associate Dean of Health and Wellness will report to the Dean of Student Success (CSAO) and serve as a member of the Student Success executive leadership team. The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness is responsible for providing strategic direction for a new vision for health and wellness at Central Washington University (CWU) and will develop and implement a new collaborative integrated wellness model for the University, which creates a culture that values health and wellness as a key component of success for students while attending CWU and in their future lives. The Associate Dean will coordinate on and off campus key programs and services and be engaged nationally in the new movement to create an integrated and multidimensional model of health and wellness.

The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness oversees Counseling Services, Student Medical Services, Wellness Center (Health Promotion), and Recreation Center. In total, the Associate Dean has four direct reports and is responsible for an organization of approximately 55 full- and part-time staff, and over 170 student employees.

The Associate Dean oversees: strategic planning, including resource and facilities planning; staff recruitment, assessment, and development; educational programming, outreach, and prevention efforts designed to build self-awareness, healthy habits, and resiliency throughout the student community and support to the faculty and staff who are invested in student success; management of a $6M budget; accreditation, licensing, and certification processes; policy development and review; data collection, analysis, and reporting to internal and external constituents; and continuous improvement. Additionally, the Associate Dean fosters an atmosphere of student-centered collaboration, shared mission and purpose, and collegiality across all reporting units, and actively supports the strategic mission and goals of the Division of Academic and Student Life and the University.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree in a health and wellness discipline, demonstrated leadership experience in a college or university setting, and documented understanding of the diverse health and well-being issues facing today’s college students, or equivalent combination of academic credentials and experience. Knowledge of current trends in healthcare, behavioral health, health education/promotion and wellness, and recreation; track record of successful program development, implementation, and evaluation; demonstrated management and supervisory experience directing full-time staff; evidence of data-driven analysis and decision-making employed in shaping programs and services; and a commitment to diversity and inclusion as fundamental to one’s professional work are also required.

Preferred qualifications: PhD or EdD degree in a health and wellness discipline (e.g., counseling, clinical psychology, public health) or, higher education, student affairs administration, health science, recreation, or related field; experience at a public university with health and wellness programs; and/or evidence of budget development and management in a complex university environment.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, key institutional stakeholders identified the following list of additional capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:

  • possess demonstrated experience with assessment measures, departmental review processes, professional certification attainment, and accreditation requirements (e.g., APA, ACHA, CACREP, AAAHC, etc.);
  • be a trailblazer with a track record of successful advocacy, collaboration, and innovation;
  • bring substantive supervisory experience and success in working with diverse individuals whose experience spans the full spectrum from student, intern, new professional, mid-career to seasoned professional, as well as union representatives and exempt staff;
  • understand the multiple revenue streams that provide typical funding for recreation programming, services, and facilities;
  • possess some familiarity with the governance structure and decision-making of public higher education institutions;
  • have a strong grounding in student development theory and being committed to cultivating leadership capacity among students;
  • be an active listener and effective communicator;
  • demonstrate an understanding of public health and key issues, including alcohol and other drug dependency and recovery that impact a college community;
  • value educational outreach, information dissemination, and preventative health;
  • have a general understanding of Title IX regulations and responses, as well as an understanding of proactive educational strategies to promote healthy relationships and to prevent sexual violence;
  • demonstrate a strong capacity to build consensus and collaborative partnerships;
  • understand the complexity of mental health issues and how individual circumstances and needs can impact an entire community;
  • possess experience working with a highly residential population of college students;
  • demonstrate a commitment to holistic management, ensuring decisions are economically, environmentally, and socially sound;
  • be adaptable–comfortable leading and supporting change.

History of the Position

The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness position is newly-created and well-supported by the CWU Board of Trustees, President, Provost, Student Success Executive Leadership Team, and Student Government. The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness will be the architect of a new era, advancing an integrated and multidimensional model of health and wellness that will bring together the Counseling Services, Recreation, Student Medical Services, and Wellness Center (health promotion) under a single leader to support student success.

During the search to secure the first, permanent Associate Dean of Health and Wellness, Dr. Jenna Hyatt will expand her current responsibilities to also provide interim leadership for this newly-formed unit. The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness will report to the Dean of Student Success. As of early September 2018, CWU is underway with the recruitment for a new Dean of Student Success and it is expected that the individual appointed as the next Dean will be involved in the final round interviews and selection of the Associate Dean of Health and Wellness.

An announcement of the Student Success restructuring and creation of the Associate Dean of Health and Wellness position is available here: https://www.cwu.edu/student-success/student-health-and-wellness.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness will arrive at an exciting and dynamic time as CWU embarks on a heightened focus on student health and wellness, cementing this work as the foundation on which student success is built. As the inaugural full-time associate dean in this role, the first priority will be to leverage this increased attention on health and wellness to establish a comprehensive mission and vision for all reporting units that will serve students on the Ellensburg campus, other CWU centers and instructional sites, as well as students studying online. This will demand an investment of time and effort to gather a broad and deep understanding of each department, including current leadership, staff, operational philosophy, programs, and services while simultaneously taking the pulse of CWU student needs, engaging other campus and external partners, and benchmarking current practices against national standards and emerging trends.

With a solid grasp of the current scope of activities and services, and the engagement of the leadership team reporting up to the Associate Dean of Health and Wellness, a strategic plan will need to be defined. The Associate Dean must advocate for a progressive plan that will establish CWU as a national leader in designing and instituting a highly collaborative and integrated health and wellness model.

Another key priority will be to integrate each reporting department into the larger, more comprehensive health and wellness unit and into the overall work of Student Success. Historically, Student Medical Services and Counseling Services (formerly known as Student Medical and Counseling Clinic–SMaCC) have worked closely together. This has been due to the growing numbers of students who receive active treatment and support from both departments, as well as to the fact that these two departments are co-located in a building near the periphery of campus, somewhat distant from other student services. Prior to Fall 2018, these two departments were led by a single executive director; however, that is changing with the creation of the Associate Dean of Health and Wellness position. Going forward, there will be director-level staff leading each department within the Associate Deans portfolio. This will put all directors, including Student Medical Services, Counseling Services, Recreation, and Wellness Center, on an equal footing as peers and it will be incumbent upon the Associate Dean to foster an atmosphere of shared decision-making, collaboration, and teamwork across all four reporting departments.

The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness will need to ensure that each department understands its role in contributing to broadly defined health and wellness goals and objectives. Each department director will need to be committed to educational programming, outreach, and prevention efforts in addition to ensuring excellence of service and programming within their designated areas of specific expertise to the student community. The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness must set the expectation that leaders and staff members will serve on campus-wide collaborative initiatives and will be engaged in working across departmental boundaries to advance the University’s health and wellness agenda.

Additional challenges and opportunities that await the Associate Dean of Health and Wellness as articulated by key stakeholders are listed below.

  • Develop an inclusive strategic plan that ensures that all students, including those who may be traditionally underrepresented or enrolled in degree programs other than those offered on the Ellensburg campus (e.g., the nearly 2,000 students who pursue academic degrees offered at various campus centers, sites, and/or online) receive equal access to health and wellness information, support, and services. This will require an enhancement of current online resources as well as a proactive communication plan to educate students to the full breadth of services that are available.
  • Recognize that the Ellensburg campus, which is highly residential, is situated in a county where the availability of licensed mental health practitioners and psychiatrists is extremely limited. Also, the Associate Dean will work closely with staff to maximize the use of tele-psychiatry services for consultation and training purposes. The Associate Dean will connect with off-campus partners to inventory local resources, establish a positive rapport, and advocate for common objectives that will improve public health and the community’s ability to meet growing needs.
  • Collaborate with University colleagues, including faculty and academic deans, to identify and alleviate stressors contributing to growing anxiety levels reported by students as evidenced by recent survey results (stressors are wide ranging and include academic and advising issues, as well as financial aid and financial management concerns, social development and relationship issues, and time management skills).
  • Create synergy and a common language to be utilized by health and wellness advocates, as well as professionals working in emergency preparedness, public safety and police services, and human resources on matters that intersect with issues of physical, behavioral, and community health.
  • Consider the health and wellness needs that may be unique to student athletes, veterans, international students studying at CWU, students returning from study abroad, students with disabilities, and the high proportion of transfer students that make up the student body (CWU enrolls approximately 4,500 transfer students; this is approximately 40 percent of the total student body). The Associate Dean will need to build working relationships with key campus colleagues in Athletics, Office of International Studies and Programs, Veterans Center, Disability Services, and Student Support Services.
  • Assess the leadership structure for Student Medical Services while the current director is serving in an interim capacity through June 2019. Develop a recruitment plan to secure a permanent medical director with the experience, vision, and values that will help propel CWU’s health and wellness agenda forward.
  • Conduct an examination of the budget of each reporting unit and review marketing and programming budget line to determine opportunities for improved branding, messaging, streamlining, and cross-promotion. Construct a new budget model to advance strategic priorities and, if necessary, propose a supplemental budget increase request for Health and Wellness that will allow the introduction of data-driven new programs, events, staff, and services to better serve students.
  • Support the planning and fundraising needed for capital projects that are designed to improve health and wellness facilities and student access, including the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) expansion proposal, which is already in development.
  • Create a culture of engagement and support for mental health issues and involve faculty, staff, and students in educational opportunities to expand their knowledge of resources and strategies for successful management of emotional and behavioral health concerns.
  • Champion health and wellness programs such as the JED Foundation grant that supports mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention, which is already in place and making a positive impact on the CWU student community.
  • Elevate the conversation and importance of health and wellness at CWU. Ensure effective data collection and dissemination.  Tell the story of how dedicated staff, creative holistic approaches to programming and service delivery, and the determination of students themselves are all positively impacting student success, graduation rates, and contributions to the communities in which students and graduates live.
  • Promote the roles that University Recreation (with its considerable indoor and expanding outdoor facilities and programs) and individual fitness play in overall health and wellness. Support efforts to integrate physical activity into students’ ongoing regimens.

Health and Wellness Departments

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Counseling Services

Currently, Counseling Services is described on the CWU website as a component of the larger Student Medical & Counseling Clinic. As part of the reimagining and restructuring that has led to the creation of the Associate Dean of Health and Wellness position, the “Counseling Clinic” will become “Counseling Services.” Under the new model, Counseling Services will remain co-located with Student Medical Services, which will continue to facilitate needed coordination of care for students with dual medical and mental health diagnoses and allow for broader collaboration.

In response to rising mental health needs and demand for service, the Student Government Association recently supported student fee increases that have been further enhanced by additional funding from the Board of Trustees, allowing significant expansion of the Counseling Services staff. In AY 2018-2019, the director position will become a 12 month appointment. Additionally, Counseling Services will add a new psychologist position and will expand on-campus capabilities with the addition of tele-psychiatry services in partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine or an appropriate alternative. By FY 2021, Counseling Services was directed by the Board of Trustees to develop a plan to increase funding for counseling that will add three (3) full-time psychologists and bring the rest of the counseling services providers up to 12 month positions. The staffing model is projected to grow from the existing group of seven (7) staff clinicians (excluding the director) to a total of ten (10). This increase in staffing will bring Counseling Services in line with the national best standards of care with a staff to student ratio of approximately 1:1,000. Complementing the full-time staff are three APA doctoral interns and two masters-level interns.

Counseling Services provides service and support to all students registered for six or more credits per academic quarter and subscribes to a brief therapy/treatment philosophy. The department serves a diverse student population. During Fiscal Year 2018, 31.5 percent of students seen by the clinic reported an ethnic identification as other than white, non-Hispanic (compared to a 32.7 percent of the general university population identifying as other than white, non-Hispanic). Of the people of color served by Counseling Services, the largest groups include the following: LatinX (11.6 percent), bi-racial or multi-racial (9.1 percent), Asian/Pacific Islander (4.1 percent), and African-American (4.1 percent). Other students of color included Native American (1.4 percent) and international students (1.2 percent). Women comprised 62.8 percent of clients and men comprised 32.6 percent of clients. Transgender/gender nonconforming students represented 3.3 percent of students served during the fiscal year 2018. According to reported data for this period, the sexual identity of clients included the following: heterosexual clients (75.3 percent), bisexual (10.8 percent), pansexual (3.6 percent), gay/lesbian (3.5 percent), asexual (1.7 percent), and “other” (2.7 percent). Approximately 1.5 percent of clients reported that they were military veterans or had served in the military and 37.7 percent of clients characterized religious/spiritual matters as moderately to “a lot” important in their lives.

For additional details about current individual, group, and outreach services, including the highly-regarded Pathways Program, please visit: http://www.cwu.edu/medical-counseling/counseling-clinic.

Cindy Bruns, PhD, Interim Director of Counseling

Cindy Bruns, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Training Director, Interim Director of Counseling

Dr. Bruns completed her undergraduate work in psychology at the University of Oregon and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda Campus. Her doctoral internship at the counseling center at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) led to an almost 10 year sojourn in Texas, where, post-internship, she was the Director of Adult Counseling Services at a domestic violence/sexual assault service agency and then returned to TWU to service as the psychologist for the allied health satellite campuses. In 2009, Dr. Bruns was hired as the Training Director at Central Washington University’s Student Medical and Counseling Clinic.  Throughout her training and career, she has worked in a variety of settings including community mental health, a women’s federal prison, domestic violence and sexual assault agency, and college counseling centers. Her therapeutic and supervision approaches are heavily influenced by feminist, multicultural, developmental, and relational philosophies combined with a background in psychodynamic theory.

Dr. Bruns’ areas of professional interest include trauma, feminist and multicultural psychologies/therapies, spirituality and psychotherapy, and supervision and training. She has a variety of publications in the area of feminist therapy, including co-editing a special edition of Women & Therapy dedicated to feminist therapies in the 21st century and co-authoring an article on relational approaches to ethics for the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the flagship journal of the American Counseling Association.  Dr. Bruns also has conducted a number of presentations on supervision and training at the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA) annual conferences.  In addition, Dr. Bruns is a reviewer for Sex Roles and Women & Therapy, an accreditation site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation for the American Psychological Association, and serves as a mentor to new training directors for both ACCTA and the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.  Dr. Bruns was appointed Interim Director of Counseling for the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic in September of 2017 and will serve in this role through December 31, 2018.

Recreation Department

Recreation inspires positive, healthy lives through educational and recreational programs, facilities, and services for the CWU community. Staff working in all facets of the department—from intramurals and sports clubs to developmental programs and outdoor pursuits and rentals—are dedicated to making recreation a cornerstone of the student experience by utilizing innovative practices and services, contributing to the holistic development of students and enhancing the university community.

An $8M dollar project designed as part of the North Campus expansion will significantly increase the Recreation outdoor facilities and will come on line in October 2018. The expansion will provide a state-of-the-art facility to CWU students, the varsity track & field/cross country programs, and academic departments and will offer a safe destination to recreate, teach, practice, and compete. This facility will be directly managed by University Recreation and will include the following key features:

  • approximately 370,000 square feet;
  • artificial turf infield;
  • fully-lit, four-pole system which provides a safe, protected space for students to recreate after dark;
  • grandstands with 600 spectator seats;
  • 400-meter all-weather track that meets all NCAA competition specifications to accommodate all running events and multidirectional runways for jump events, i.e., high jump, pole vault, long jump, and triple jump;
  • throws venue that meets all NCAA competition specifications to accommodate hammer, shot put, javelin, and discus;
  • stadium-style scoreboard.

The Student Recreation Center indoor facilities provide two floors of health and fitness options. The 80,000 square-foot exercise facility has a 50-foot climbing wall with two arches for bouldering, a strength training area, fitness and cardio equipment areas, an elevated one-eighth-mile jogging track, a four-court gymnasium, two group exercise rooms, locker rooms with saunas, and a sports medicine room. For more information about University Recreation programs, facilities, and services visit: https://www.cwu.edu/rec/.

Matthew Boyer, MA, Director of University Recreation

Matthew Boyer received his B.S. in Health, Leisure, and Sports at the University of West Florida and his M.A. in Recreation Administration from the University of Florida.  In addition, he has completed the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation levels I and II and is a Certified Recreational Sports Specialist (CRSS).

Matthew has worked his professional career at San Jose State University for 2 years, University of North Carolina – Charlotte for 7 years, Louisiana State University for over 9 years, and is in his first year at Central Washington University.  Within the NIRSA Association, he has represented Florida as the State Student Representative, North Carolina as the State Director, Louisiana as the State Director, and received the Horace Moody Award for contributions to student development.  He has also served on the planning committee for the NIRSA Region 2 Conference, Tournament Director for the North Carolina Flag Football tournament, and as a committee member at numerous extramural events.

Professionally, Matthew was on the leadership team for an $85 million dollar expansion and redesign of the recreational facilities at Louisiana State University that included a 23 acre field complex and a 250,000 square foot facility.  His role focused on the planning and activation of the field complex, 30,000 sq. ft. fitness area, climbing and bouldering area, and outdoor gear rental facility.

As the Director of University Recreation at Central Washington University since April 2018, Matthew has supervision of the following programs/areas: Group Fitness, Personal Training, Challenge Course, Climbing Wall, Intramural Sports, Memberships, Reservations, Outdoor trips, Gear Rental, Special Events, Sport Clubs, Youth Camps, Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Facilities, and Student Development.

Student Medical Services

CWU Student Medical Services (formerly known as Student Medical Clinic) is fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHE) and is one of only two university healthcare facilities in the state, and is the only regional institution to currently hold this accreditation.

Last year, the medical team conducted over 7,500 student appointments, typically for upper respiratory infections (including chest colds, sinus problems, or sore throats) and mental health concerns. The medical laboratory recently completed a state site visit, meeting all the requirements. In AY 2017-2018, the medical team preceptored two MD students, four registered nursing students, and one lab technician. In conjunction with Counseling Services, a student satisfaction survey was administered during Spring 2018, producing the following results:

  • medical staff were prepared for student visits (91.9 percent agreed or strongly agreed);
  • medical staff acted professionally (94.4 percent agreed or strongly agreed);
  • the majority of students believed that medical services helped them stay enrolled and helped them maintain or improve their academic performance;
  • most students stated that they would return to Student Medical Services in the future (89.5 percent) or would refer a friend (87.9 percent).

Services include the following:

  • all general medical services (illnesses & injuries);
  • contraception including intrauterine devices and Nexplanon;
  • sports medicine;
  • sports, ROTC, and routine physicals;
  • removal or biopsy of skin lesions;
  • female exams and PAP tests;
  • sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment;
  • mental health medical evaluation and treatment;
  • pregnancy testing and counseling;
  • immunizations;
  • lab and x-ray services.

For additional information about Student Medical Services, visit: http://www.cwu.edu/medical-counseling/

Kristin Karns, ARNP, Interim Medical Services Director

Kristin Karns is the Interim Director of Student Medical Services, a role she has held since September 2017. She joined Central Washington University in 1996 as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

In her capacity as Interim Director, she provides oversight of the management and administrative functions for Student Medical Services (formerly SMaCC), including the department’s recent reaccreditation process with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

Karns also practices patient care in the primary care clinic. She has a particular interest in mental health issues, including eating disorders, as well as women’s health care and STI treatment and prevention. The PrEP program that is focused on reducing the incidence of HIV for high risk men and women is an initiative designed and implemented by Karns at CWU. Additionally, Karns provides hormone replacement therapy for transgender individuals.

She works collaboratively with Counseling Services and Wellness Center staff regarding mutual clients and developing materials for health promotion and disease prevention. Karns benchmarks and evaluates CWU’s medical services against that of other higher education institutions in an effort to continuously inform staff of best practices and to introduce services that meet the needs of the University’s diverse student population. With her staff, Karns looks forward to increased collaboration with the Wellness Center and Recreation under the new, integrated Health and Wellness model.

Prior to joining CWU, Karns worked for several years with the Kittitas County Health Department, rising to the position of Director of Personal Health Services. She holds a BS in Nursing and earned her certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner from California State University, Long Beach. Karns serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Washington, School of Nursing. Since 2002, she has been preceptoring nurse practitioner students from the University of Washington, as well as Gonzaga University, School of Nursing. Central Washington University bestowed the 2007 Women’s Achievement Award to Karns, recognizing her significant service to CWU students.

The Wellness Center

The Wellness Center promotes positive health behaviors and encourages social connections that support student success through its use of health promotion theory and campaigns, programming, individual assessments and consultation, along with peer-to-peer outreach. Supporting and educating students for life outside the classroom in an effort to help them maximize their time at CWU and to build skills for the future is at the core of the Wellness Center’s mission.

The Wellness Center engages in active data collection with students in order to gather information of importance to them. The analysis of this data is used in setting the strategic priorities that shape educational outreach, prevention programs, and services. The Wellness Center is currently addressing the following priorities:

  • alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs;
  • sexual health;
  • violence prevention;
  • nutrition and physical activity;
  • positive mental health and resiliency;
  • recovery support;
  • positive body image and eating disorder prevention;

Staff of the Wellness Center frequently collaborate with the Student Success colleagues as part of orientation, University 101 course instruction, and residential life programs to deliver educational and risk reduction information to students (e.g., sexual health, sexual violence prevention, and alcohol risk reduction). They also work closely with the nutritionist who is on the Health Sciences faculty and provides consultations for students referred for service by Student Medical Services and Counseling Services.

The Wellness Center has been instrumental in supporting CWU’s campus involvement with the JED Foundation in an effort to expand existing student mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention efforts. One staff member dedicates much of their time to addressing issues related to alcohol and other drug dependency and recovery, and teaches the Alcohol Skills Training Program and BASICS program. Other staff members focus largely on sexual violence response and a broad array of other public health programming.

Additional information about the Wellness Center is found here: https://www.cwu.edu/wellness/cwu-wellness-center.

Marissa Howat, MEd, Director of Wellness Center

Marissa Howat is the Director of Health Promotion and Wellness at Central Washington University. As a health promotion expert, she looks for creative, data-driven and long-term solutions to promote individual and campus health and functioning. She is passionate about supporting the well-being of students and institutions of higher education. Marissa holds a bachelor’s of science in health education and community development from Western Washington University and MEd in Counseling from the University of Houston and Heritage University. She received her MCHES (Master Certified Health Education Specialist) designation — the highest level of certification for practitioners in this field — in 2009.

Marissa has worked in educational institutions — public, private, K-12 and higher education — to improve health outcomes and overall functioning for over 13 years. She has taught undergraduate courses in general wellness, mindfulness and exercise and weight management. Marissa is a trainer of Mental Health First Aid, an 8-hour curriculum designed to teach laypeople how to respond to mental health crises. She has trained over 200 people since her certification in 2010. Marissa is also a Certified Wellness 360 Coach; able to meet with students to assess and support their holistic well-being.

Because of her education and experience, Marissa is highly qualified in assessing needs, resources and capacity for health promotion on university campuses. Using a socioecological framework, she looks for ways to teach students and entire institutions how to get and stay well from the environmental design down to daily health behaviors. She is interested in supporting a higher level of health promotion through infrastructure building, strategic development and thoughtful collaboration.

Measures of Success for the Position

By the close of the Associate Dean’s first year at CWU, the following items will define success. The Associate Dean of Health and Wellness will have:

  • forged strong working partnerships with key stakeholders up and down the University hierarchy, including the Provost, Dean of Student Success, Academic Deans, Associate Deans, and Associate Provosts;
  • formed an effective stakeholder committee that serves as a source of information and insight into the student experience, works collaboratively to identify obstacles to success, and generates community-wide approaches that advance change;
  • completed a SWOT analysis and drafted a strategic plan to guide transformative efforts to enhance health and wellness across the student community;
  • developed a communications plan with both short- and long-term marketing strategies that support strategic priorities;
  • evaluated several options and drafted an initial plan to increase and diversify the sources of funding needed to expand the impact of health and wellness initiatives;
  • established a positive working relationship with the Office of Development;
  • engaged in transparent information sharing designed to keep all reporting units, as well as the campus community at-large, well-informed of strategic priorities and progress;
  • helped leverage CWU’s considerable investment in health and wellness initiatives to support institutional recruitment objectives.

An Overview of the Division of Academic and Student Life

The Division of Academic & Student Life, the largest division of the University, is led by Dr. Katherine Frank, who has served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life since July 2016. Since joining CWU, Dr. Frank has focused on mission fulfillment across the following five core themes:

  • teaching & learning;
  • inclusiveness & diversity;
  • scholarship & creative expression;
  • public service & community engagement;
  • resource development & stewardship.

The Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Life presides over a division of approximately 1,211 faculty and staff. To review an organizational chart for the division, please visit: https://www.cwu.edu/provost/sites/cts.cwu.edu.provost/files/documents/provost-org-chart.pdf


Katherine Frank

Dr. Katherine Frank, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life

Dr. Frank served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern Kentucky University. There, she oversaw the university’s largest college, which includes a School of the Arts, ten academic departments, and five centers.

Before this, Dr. Frank was Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indiana University East. During her tenure, she oversaw a restructuring of the institution’s largest school, with ten undergraduate programs, three of which were delivered at campus satellite centers.

She also served at Colorado State University-Pueblo for ten years, serving as Chair of English and Foreign Languages and the Writing Program Administrator. At Colorado State University-Pueblo she also was the founding Director of the Southern Colorado Writing Project and founding Director of the First-Year Experience Program.

Dr. Frank earned her BA in English from Bates College and her MA and PhD in English from the University of Washington.

Student Success

The Office of the Dean of Student Success provides students with educationally-purposeful programs, events, services, and activities that promote academic, personal, and professional growth within and beyond the classroom.

As such, Student Success is committed to the following principles:

  • developing and enhancing the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity;
  • creating connections between in-class and out-of-classroom experiences to promote student success and achievement;
  • facilitating scholarly, creative, and professional development opportunities;
  • engaging students throughout the University community;
  • providing resources and services for students to better navigate the CWU Community;
  • promoting student rights and responsibilities.

The Office of the Dean of Student Success, through the key commitments noted above, strives to support the overall mission of the university, academic and student life strategic planning, and university accreditation.

Leadership and Organizational Structure of Student Success

The Dean of Student Success is the chief student affairs officer for the University and reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life. At present, Dr. William Schafer is serving as the interim Dean of Student Success, while the University is engaged in a search for a permanent successor. Dr. Schafer is an experienced higher education leader having previously served as the Vice President for Student Life at West Virginia University and Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as in other positions of progressive responsibility throughout his distinguished career. Dr. Schafer earned a PhD in higher education administration and curriculum, MA in counseling, and BS in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Since joining CWU in January 2018, Dr. Schafer has focused on strengthening capacity, introducing best practices, and building a collaborative culture focused on supporting student success and excellence.

Rounding out the leadership team and reporting to the Dean of Student Success are three associate deans, all with areas of responsibility including:

William Schafer

Dr. William Schafer Dean of Student Success (interim):

  • Student Rights & Responsibilities
  • Case Management
  • Academic Success Initiatives

Dr. Aaron Brown, Associate Dean for Student Development and Achievement:

  • Career Services
  • College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
  • High School Equivalency Program (HEP)
  • Learning Commons (tutoring and developmental education)
  • Professional Advising
  • Exploratory Advising
  • Academic Achievement Programs (TRIO, SSS, EOC, athletic advising, and college passport)
  • Veterans Center

Dr. Jenna Hyatt, Associate Dean for Student Living:

  • Student Involvement
  • ASCWU Student Government
  • Student Union (campus activities, publicity center)
  • Center for Leadership and Community Engagement
  • Disability Services
  • Housing Operations & Marketing
  • Housing Facilities
  • Conference Services
  • Residence Life
  • Orientation and Transition Programs: First Year Experience
  • KCWU Radio
  • Diversity & Equity Center

Associate Dean of Health and Wellness (newly-created position): Dr. Jenna Hyatt (interim)

  • Counseling Services
  • Medical Health Services
  • University Recreation
  • Wellness Center

Additional information about the Division of Student Success is located here: http://www.cwu.edu/student-success/

Institution & Location

The University

The doors of the Washington State Normal School in Ellensburg opened in 1891. Mr. Benjamin Franklin Barge was the first principal of the school, which was founded to educate future elementary and junior high school teachers. Classes were held at the Washington Public School until the Normal School’s first building, Barge Hall, opened in 1893. The Normal School became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961, and Central Washington University in 1977.

Today CWU is a comprehensive university that provides high-quality programs to more than 12,200 students at eight locations, 9,900 of whom are enrolled at the Ellensburg campus. CWU is located in Ellensburg, WA, and has co-located sites with community colleges in Edmonds, Everett, Des Moines, Steilacoom/Puyallup, Kent, Yakima, Moses Lake, and Wenatchee, where students can complete baccalaureate degrees without leaving their communities. A new dual admission program allows community college students to be admitted to CWU when they are admitted to a college, streamlining the admissions, advising, and transfer processes. CWU also serves more students online than any other comprehensive university in Washington. “Finish Line” is an online campus launched in Fall 2011 to enable people to complete degrees online.

For the fourth time in five years, CWU received the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. CWU is the only four-year institution in the state of Washington to earn the award. The University is also designated a Veterans Supportive Campus and is committed to serving the needs of present and former military personnel.


The mission of CWU is to prepare students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives; to produce research, scholarship, and creative expression in the public interest; and to serve as a resource to the region and the state through effective stewardship of University resources.


CWU is a dynamic, creative, and inclusive environment that promotes engaged learning and scholarship. It is distinguished regionally for the rigor of its curriculum and scholarship, for the excellence of its pedagogy, for the vibrancy of its co-curricular and residential experiences, for its commitment to providing access to higher education, and for its efforts to advance the social and economic health of the region. It is typified by an entrepreneurial spirit that establishes it as a national leader in higher education. It has a strong commitment to engaged learning and scholarship, internationalism, sustainability, inclusiveness, and lifelong learning.

Strategic Plan 2018

CWU exists to advance society through the essential activities of teaching, discovery, and service. While no one of these core elements is meaningful in isolation from the others, CWU finds it necessary to prioritize its efforts in relation to its mission, vision, values, goals, and resources. In order to maximize the value of each of the elements of its mission, CWU emphasizes the integration of scholarship, teaching, and public service.

As a public comprehensive university, CWU strives to create an engaging learning environment and therefore places its highest priority on teaching, learning, and student success. The faculty is comprised of scholar-teachers working in the interests of their students, their disciplines, and the region. CWU encourages individualized programs of student success and promotes undergraduate and graduate student-faculty partnerships that are actively engaged in discovery, creative expression, and engaged learning.

As a community dedicated to the principles of academic freedom, CWU must be an environment that promotes reasoned, civil, and enlightened discourse and creative expression without fear of reprisal, ridicule, or exclusion. CWU’s educational environment must empower each person with the freedom to explore, to evaluate, and to learn.

CWU must also strive to serve its region by addressing pressing economic and social issues. As a comprehensive university, CWU must use its intellectual capacity not only to contribute to disciplinary literatures, but also to assist area business, social, and government leaders in strengthening and diversifying the area’s economic base, to help create a sustainable natural environment, and to address critical social issues.

CWU is also a place where people gather to live and to work. It must therefore be a place that enables people to grow and to prosper. In keeping with the academic values of shared governance and reasoned dialogue, the university must be open, transparent, and empowering. It follows, then, that CWU is committed to the following shared values:

  • Student Success: CWU believes that student success is best achieved by providing supportive learning and living environments that encourage intellectual inquiry, exploration, and application. CWU believes that learning is best achieved in small classroom or group settings with ample opportunities for individualized instruction, mentoring, advising, and programming.
  • Access: CWU believes in providing educational opportunities to as many qualified students as possible. CWU believes that restrictions of place, time, and finances can be overcome through the effective use of partnership with community colleges and by effective and efficient use of learning, communication, and social technologies.
  • Engagement: CWU believes that learning, research, and creative expression are enhanced by engagement with external partners. CWU believes that as a publicly-funded institution, it has a responsibility to help address the social and economic challenges faced by our communities.
  • Inclusiveness: CWU believes that diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas is essential to learning, discovery, and creative expression. CWU believes that all faculty, staff, and students must be and must feel physically, professionally, and emotionally safe in order to fully engage in and benefit from the university experience.
  • Shared Governance: CWU believes that shared governance is most effective when information systems and decision-making processes are both robust and transparent. CWU believes that communication channels should be open and two-way and that faculty, staff, and students should be empowered to participate in the governance systems.
  • Facilities: CWU believes that state-of-the-art, safe, and attractive facilities enhance the working and learning environments of faculty, staff, and students. CWU also believes that state-of-the-art technologies provide leverage for the efforts of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Safety: CWU believes it has a responsibility to providing a working and learning environment that is both physically and emotionally safe. CWU believes this responsibility extends to the off-campus environment of its full-time, residential students.

For a more detailed look at the Strategic Plan, visit https://www.cwu.edu/mission/sites/cts.cwu.edu.mission/files/documents/CWU-Strategic-Plan.pdf

James L. Gaudino, President

Since becoming President of CWU on January 1, 2009, James L. Gaudino has taken to heart the institution’s primary mission of being a welcoming institution that prepares its students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives.

During his tenure, CWU has experienced a record infusion of state construction funding, completed a comprehensive overhaul and updating of information systems, initiated a modernization of budget and management systems, and sought to create a safe and inclusive campus environment.

Dr. Gaudino came to CWU from Kent State University, where he founded the College of Communication and Information, and guided its development into a center of innovation in the study of the new information age.

Prior to that, Dr. Gaudino was the Executive Director of the National Communication Association and served on the faculty of Michigan State University’s Department of Advertising.

Dr. Gaudino’s research interests include public relations and public opinion formation. He has authored or co-authored chapters, articles, monographs, and presentations in numerous journals, including the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Newspaper Research Journal.

He has a PhD in Communications from Michigan State University and a Master of Science in Management from Troy State University. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and served in the U.S. Air Force in California, Turkey, and Germany.

The Academic Program

Central Washington University is a place where students get to do what they are learning. Biology students and professors tag bull trout at Snoqualmie Pass. Music students perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Faculty and students in geology site earthquake detection systems on dams, mountaintops, and coastlines.

Central Washington University is committed to hands-on learning, discovery, and individual attention. Learning is exciting and relevant when it takes place beyond the limits of the classroom and books. The benefit to students is an education experience made richer and more stimulating. The benefit to employers is experienced graduates who are prepared for work on day one.

Central Washington University offers many exciting degree programs. Noted academic points of distinction include the following:

  • more than 135 majors;
  • nationally and/or regionally distinguished programs in music, geology, paramedicine, physics, and education;
  • faculty recognized regionally and/or nationally for collegiate teaching in mathematics, physics, geology, music, and chemistry;
  • average class size: 20;
  • student to faculty ratio: 19-to-1;
  • top five majors/degrees awarded: Business Administration, Information Technology and Management, Elementary Education, Law and Justice, and Accounting.

The Student Body

Central Washington University has a student body of over 12,200 students. The student body is increasingly diverse. Students of color comprise approximately 33 percent of all enrolled students. Ninety-four (94) percent of students hail from Washington State.

Additional student statistics of interest include the following:

  • about 2,000 students earn a CWU degree each year;
  • on-campus residents: 3,300;
  • male/female ratio: 49 percent/51.7 percent;
  • Campus Pride selected CWU as one of the top LGBT-friendly schools in the nation;
  • students participate in more than 125 clubs, organizations, and associations;
  • CWU has 13 varsity athletic teams, competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference including:
    • men’s varsity sports: six;
    • women’s varsity sports: seven;
    • nationally-ranked football, basketball, and rugby teams;
  • more than 30 percent of students participate in intramural sports;
  • approximately 500 students participate in 23 sports clubs.

Location – Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University is located in historic Ellensburg, the largest city in, and the county seat of Kittitas County. The city is situated in central Washington, one of the richest and most diverse agricultural regions in the world, including vibrant wine and microbrew industries.

Central Washington University is surrounded by remarkable natural beauty: the Cascade Mountains to the west, the Columbia River to the east, the Yakima River Canyon to the south, and national parks and recreation areas to the north.

Ellensburg is one of Washington’s founding communities. Ellensburg’s brick downtown is just three blocks from the CWU campus and filled with eclectic shops and restaurants next to beautiful and historic buildings, most constructed between 1889 and 1917.

Residents and visitors alike can stroll downtown streets and then share a shady bench with the famous Ellensburg Bull statue, located outside of the Rotary Pavilion. The Kitt Coyote half-human, half-coyote sculpture, often sporting seasonal attire, welcomes patrons to the Ellensburg Public Library. Weekends bring delicious local food and fresh produce, regional crafts, and a wide array of entertainment downtown at the Kittitas County Farmers Market (May through October).

Ellensburg is home of one of the top ten arts and cultural events in Washington, including Jazz in the Valley, Dachshunds on Parade, Buskers in the Burg, and Spirit of the West. As one of the ten most beautiful towns in Washington, Ellensburg also is one of America’s top “Distinctive Destinations,” according to the National Historic Land Trust. Nerdwallet.com recently named Ellensburg the state’s sixth healthiest community, lauding it for its “compact, walkable streets, where 14.3 percent of residents commute by foot, one of the highest percentages in the state.”

The city has a ratio of 12.56 parks per 10,000 residents, far above the statewide average. The surrounding Kittitas Valley is internationally known for the Timothy hay that it produces. Higher education and hay brokering, processing, and shipping operations are the biggest industries within Ellensburg, though the spectacular geography and the extensive outdoor recreational opportunities surrounding the community also shape the culture and contribute to the city’s well-deserved healthy lifestyle. Biking, birding, fly fishing, golf, hiking, horseback riding, rock hounding, rodeo watching, skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, and wildlife viewing can all be found in abundance throughout Ellensburg and the Pacific Northwest.

The city of Ellensburg is located approximately 100 miles and about two hours away from the Seattle metropolitan area. With an estimated population of more than 3.7 million, Seattle is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The region boasts world class arts and entertainment, cuisine, and athletics. Situated between the Puget Sound and Cascade Mountains, the region is noted for its natural beauty and offers a broad range of outdoor pursuits. Top employers either headquartered or with a large presence in the region include Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Google, Boeing, Costco, and Nordstrom.

For additional information about Ellensburg and the surrounding region please visit:





Benefits Overview

CWU offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental insurance, retirement and optional savings plans, life and disability insurance, along with vacation and sick leave plans.

Additional benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • optional insurance plans;
  • credit union and banks;
  • dependent tuition waiver;
  • discounts for CWU employees;
  • employee assistance program;
  • guaranteed education tuition (Washington’s 529 prepaid college tuition plan);
  • health savings account;
  • transit pass.

A more detailed description of benefits is available on the following web page:


Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz at vbs@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Central Washington University website at www.cwu.edu

CWU is an Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated again on the basis of disability.