BOT Recap: Board welcomes new trustee Karen Lee

[ Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion. ]

The Western Washington University Board of Trustees on Friday, Feb 11, welcomed new Trustee Karen Lee to the board.

Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Lee to Western’s board. Her term on the board ends September 2016.

Trustee Phil Sharpe lauded Lee’s many accomplishments. Lee is currently the CEO of Seattle-based Pioneer Human Services, one of the nation’s largest social enterprise organizations. She also served as commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department from 2005 to 2010. She graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, served as an officer in the U.S. Army for nearly five years, then returned to the Northwest to attend the University of Washington law school. In addition to a JD, she also earned an MBA from the University of Washington. She worked at the Seattle law firm of Preston, Gates & Ellis (now K & L Gates) and Puget Sound Energy, where she ultimately oversaw its natural gas operations.

In other action, the trustees:

  • On Feb. 10 had an interactive discussion with the vice presidents about implementing the university mission, vision and strategic goals throughout the university. The vice presidents gave examples of how the strategic goals develop in their divisions. A second part of the discussion centered on student outcomes and the use of Key Performance Indicators.
  • Engaged in a discussion with University Relations Vice President Steve Swan and Stephanie Bowers, Vice President for University Advancement, on the new branding initiative, as well as how that work on repositioning Western’s identity will benefit upcoming capital campaign activities.
  • Heard a presentation by Provost Catherine Riordan and Steve VanderStaay, vice provost for Undergraduate Education, on the cost of instruction and access to classes.
  • Heard from President Bruce Shepard, who provided an update on Western programs serving Everett.
  • Heard from Sherry Burkey, associate vice president for University Relations, who gave an update on the 2011 legislative session.
  • Approved Winter Quarter degrees.

The trustees also recognized:

  • Assistant Professor Janelle Leger, who was awarded a five-year Early CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation, an extremely prestigious award given out to a small number of junior faculty members each year in an effort to promote their promising research and scholarship.
  • Kathleen Saunders, senior instructor, Anthropology, who was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Global Citizenship Award. Named to honor the 20th century’s “First Lady of the World,” the award recognizes Saunders’ effective participation in the Center for Public Anthropology’s Community Action Online Project, as well as her wider activities in the public sphere. Less than one percent of the faculty teaching introductory anthropology courses across North America receives the award.
  • Christine Compston, director of Western’s Fellowships Office. Under her leadership, the number of Western students who receive distinguished fellowships each year has more than tripled. These fellowships include a Boren Scholarship, a Gilman Scholarship, the Hollings NOAA scholarship, DAAD German Exchange awards, Fulbright Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Phi Kappa Phi, Smith College and other institutions. Western students landed so many Fulbright Scholarships last year that the university was recognized as one of the nation’s top “Fulbright Producing Universities.” In addition to her leadership activities in the university’s Fellowships Office, Compston is an expert on the history of the Supreme Court and her publications include books on Earl Warren and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
  • Steven VanderStaay, vice provost for Undergraduate Education, who was a semifinalist for 2011 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates. Every year, the National Resource Center for the First Year Student Experience recognizes individuals on college and university campuses who serve as outstanding advocates for undergraduate first-year students. This year, from among 130 nominees, VanderStaay, was recognized nationally as one of five semi-finalists for the Outstanding First-Year Advocates Award, and will be listed on an honor roll in the program for the awards ceremony at the NRC’s upcoming national conference.

Board materials are available online. Click on the subject heading to read about that topic.