BOT Chair Karen Lee sends message to campus regarding Shepard's retirement from WWU

Karen Lee, chair of the Western Washington University Board of Trustees, sent the following message to WWU faculty and staff regarding the announcement of President Bruce Shepard's retirement from WWU:

Dear Western Community:

Earlier today, President Shepard shared his decision to retire as President of Western Washington University at the end of the 2015-16 academic year.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express our deep appreciation for the outstanding service that Bruce and Cyndie have provided to Western during their time here.  At the same time we are very thankful that their service will continue on for one more year.  As leaders, their incredible dedication, far-reaching vision and personal engagement has exemplified Active Minds Changing Lives.  From protecting Western’s distinctive excellence through some of the most challenging budget times in recent memory, to raising aspirations through Compass 2 Campus, Bruce and Cyndie have inspired us by living Western’s mission to the fullest.

This morning I met with Western’s governance leadership – faculty, staff, and students – to confirm the Trustees’ commitment to Western’s continuing excellence through the transition period and beyond.  And, to a collaborative search process that engages the entire Western Community.  Knowing that a transition would eventually come, the Trustees have been studying best practices around the country and examining Western’s most recent presidential search process.  This preparation will enable us to hit the ground running in the fall so that we can attract a successor worthy to lead this fine institution.

I am acting today to designate Trustee Sue Sharpe as chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.  Representatives of faculty, staff, and students will be selected early in the fall to serve on that committee, through consultation with the groups they are to represent.  Trustee Sharpe looks forward to working with representatives of all members of the Western Community through the advisory committee and through the wide consultative processes that will inform the committee during the next year. 

The Board of Trustees, while saddened to see that President Shepard’s service will be concluding, remain deeply appreciative of the service he and Cyndie have provided and will continue to provide over the next year.  We look forward to celebrating that service with you in the coming year, and together assuring Western’s continuing excellence through 2016 and beyond. 


Karen Lee
Chair, WWU Board of Trustees