Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Search

A note from the Chancellor,

Dear faculty and staff,

The last position to complete the executive leadership team is the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. I am very grateful to those who stepped up to fill the void left by vacancies and resignations over the past year. It is, however, crucial that we fill this role with a highly qualified, dedicated individual. The campus community can benefit from leadership stability in many ways such as having predictability, accountability and synergy from and between its leaders.

Over the past semester, I have spoken with many of you via the Resident Faculty Organization (RFO), open forums and informal chats about the characteristics you are looking for in the next Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Many attributes were common:

  • Respect for faculty and staff
  • Ability to work as a member of many teams
  • Values liberal education as well as sciences
  • Understanding the role of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as a leader, advocate and mediator
  • Focus on the importance of relationships
  • Understanding of a matrixed organization and the WSU system
  • Transparent, open, communicative and honest
  • Values and lives shared governance
  • Willing to explain reasons behind decision making

There were mixed opinions on whether the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs position should require tenure. Some held that it should be required, and others believe that this should be optional. It is not a requirement by the WSU system. There needs to be someone in the chain of command, however, who is a tenured, full professor who can review tenure and promotion cases.

Should the candidate be successful, given that a clinical faculty member would not be able to evaluate faculty for these awards. In that case, we would immediately advertise for an Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs, who would report to the chancellor.  This position would require tenure and the rank of full professor at WSU. Duties would be divided between faculty roles and the duties of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs.

There was overwhelming support for the appointment of the current Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kate McAteer. The feedback I received is Dr. McAteer is a proven leader in academic affairs, familiar with and committed to WSU and WSU Tri-Cities. We will have a single candidate interview for this position, however, to fully vet this candidate. This solution will allow a comprehensive review of the candidate. I encourage and welcome your participation and feedback.

This interview will occur on April 23, 2019. Individual meetings will occur with the RFO, the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities (ASWSUTC), leadership council and campus staff. There will also be a forum for Dr. McAteer to present her research and an open forum/reception near the end of day that all interested parties will be invited to attend.

I thank you for your feedback and your participation in this important process.


Sandra Haynes, Ph.D.

Kate McAteer, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Kate McAteer, candidate for Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Interview schedule:

(Tuesday, April 23, 2019)


Meeting w/ RFO

  • 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. in East 212

Meeting w/ ASWSUTC

  • 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. in East 212

Meeting w/ Leadership Council

  • 11 a.m – 12 p.m. in East 212

Meeting w/ Staff

  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. in East 212

Research Presentation

  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in CIC 120

Open Forum / Reception

  • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in CIC 120

Search Materials

Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs

Washington State University Tri-Cities campus is currently recruiting for Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  This leadership position reports directly to the Chancellor.

As chief academic officer of the campus, the Vice Chancellor provides leadership in all academic matters. This position is responsible for coordination of academic programs, development of infrastructure to support quality teaching and research, lead professional development of faculty and manage the academic budget. The Vice Chancellor also provides oversight for the library, is responsible for internal and external (accreditation) reviews and provides leadership in coordinating across the WSU system, with community colleges and with other universities.  The successful candidate will be a relationship builder and an accessible, collegial member of the campus and contribute to the institutions land grant, tri-fold mission of teaching, research and outreach.

WSU Tri-Cities offers 20 undergraduate and 33 graduate programs across seven academic departments; Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nursing, Arts & Sciences, Business Viticulture and Enology and Education.

The campus has 90 full-time faculty and more than 200 staff.

The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will:

  • Lead the development and implementation of plans that project the academic priorities of the university (Drive to 25) and the campus.
  • Encourage and engage faculty in scholarly research and creative activity that merits a research university.
  • Provide oversight for faculty affairs including recommendations to hire, evaluations, annual reviews and tenure/promotion processes.
  • Coordinate efforts between academic, administrative and support units on campus.
  • Support and collaborate with counterparts across the WSU system.
  • Serve as the primary academic liaison to the University through participation on the University Council of Deans and other task forces/committees of WSU.
  • Advance the campus’ commitment to diversity and multiculturalism among the faculty, staff, students, research and teaching and community outreach with relevant programs, goals and activities.
  • Advance a culture of respect and shared governance with faculty and staff with open and transparent communication and teamwork in decision making.
  • Be sensitive to the unique needs of the campus. Build on the strengths of the faculty, staff and community to creatively move the campus forward.
  • Encourage and reward interdisciplinary work, best practices in pedagogy and community engagement.
  • Assist in establishing and following priorities for the campus.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have an earned doctorate and have minimum of five (5) years of relevant higher education administrative experience.

Other requirements include:

  • Experience with planning and budgeting, resource allocation and development and assessment.
  • Demonstrated excellence as an academic and administrative leader.
  • A record of successful teaching, research and community outreach.
  • Working with and valuing different classifications of faculty including tenure and non-tenure line and adjunct faculty.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and expertise in promoting diversity and working with diverse constituencies.
  • Demonstrated successful problem solving skills.
  • Understanding of working within a complex, matrixed system
  • Demonstrated strong communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with a multi-campus system in a rapidly growing and changing environment.
  • An appreciation for and understanding of the national laboratory system and the demonstrated ability to establish relationships with external constituencies.

About WSU Tri-Cities

WSU Tri-Cities is a campus of Washington State University, located in Richland, which along with Kennewick and Pasco, make up the Tri-Cities. The campus draws from a regional population of approximately 260,000 and is located in the heart of Washington wine country.

WSU Tri-Cities has more than 70 industrial, agricultural and community partners. Legislative funding, community leadership and support and active partnerships with business and community organizations have resulted in many exciting new and expanded initiatives.

Delta High, a new STEM high school exemplifies the collaboration between WSU Tri-Cities and the extensive science technology communities. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and WSU partner in the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL), a research and teaching laboratory. Tri-Cities was ranked 7th in the nation for STEM jobs in 2016 by Nerd Wallet.

About Washington State University

Founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington State University (WSU) is Washington’s land-grant university with an overarching mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens – locally, nationally and globally. WSU is committed to innovation and excellence in research and scholarship. WSU has a current enrollment of more than 30,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students and approximately 6,000 faculty and staff at its five campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Everett), as well as its numerous other locations across the State of Washington and online through its Global Campus.

Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Educator and Employer. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply. WSU is committed to excellence through diversity and faculty friendly policy action, including partner accommodation and NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation programs. WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens.  All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities.  To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services:509-335-4521. Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388 or

Click to download or view the Curriculum Vitae for Kathleen McAteer, Ph.D.