Eileen Coughlin to Retire in 2017 as Vice President after 23 Years at Western

Eileen Coughlin announced today that she will be retiring from her position as vice president at Western Washington University following the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year.

“For more than two decades Eileen Coughlin has provided exceptional leadership for Western’s largest division, Enrollment and Student Services, which touches just about every aspect of the ‘Western Experience’ for students outside of the classroom.  She has also been a leader for the University as a whole, bringing broad institutional perspective and strategic insight to conversations at every level,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

“Beyond the masterful execution of her administrative responsibilities, though, Eileen has been a model of personal integrity, attentive listening, and compassion for others.  Her commitment to making Western a more inclusive and welcoming place, not just for students, but for faculty and staff as well, will be one of her most admired legacies,” Shepard said. “I am also grateful that Eileen will be staying at Western through the next academic year to ensure that Dr. Sabah Randhawa’s presidential transition goes as smoothly as possible.”

Coughlin, now the senior vice president and vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at Western, will remain in her current role until the end of July 2017, when she will have served 23 years as vice president at Western. She will provide transition consultation as needed after completing her time as vice president. Randhawa starts as Western president on Aug. 1, succeeding Shepard, who is retiring.

Coughlin said that she “would not trade my experiences at Western. I have focused my career on reflecting a shared strong commitment to students and to serving the important educational mission of the University. I look forward to the next year with great enthusiasm; working together we can and will make a difference for future generations under the leadership of President Randhawa.”

During the coming academic year, Coughlin said she looks forward to providing leadership with several major projects on the horizon. Those include: the second phase of design for expansion of the Ethnic Student Center and multicultural addition at the Viking Union; planning for a new apartment-style residence hall; continued long-range strategic planning for student enrollment; plans related to Athletics with the reopening of the Carver Academic Facility after the current extensive renovation; and creating an open avenue for clear processes to enhance the university’s commitment to equity and inclusion in support of the recommendations of the President’s task force.

Coughlin has been a vice president at Western since August of 1994, and has served longer than any other vice president at Western. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology in 1988 with research in the area of creativity and divergent thinking. She holds a license in psychology in the state of Arizona. She previously served as associate vice president for Student Affairs at Northern Arizona University.

At Western, Coughlin holds administrative and fiscal responsibility for Enrollment and Student Services, which includes Academic and Career Development Services, Admissions and Enrollment Planning, the AS Bookstore, Athletics, Campus Recreation, Counseling, Dean of Students, disAbility Resources, Financial Aid, Student Health Center, Prevention & Wellness Services, New Student Services and Family Outreach, Registrar’s Office, Student Activities, University Residences and Dining Services, Viking Union Facilities, and Student Outreach Services.

In 2011, Coughlin was also appointed as senior vice president at Western. Her responsibilities in this area include working with the other vice presidents as assistance is sought, and on strategic initiatives identified by the senior leadership team and involving multiple divisions.

“Working with students, being a servant leader, and enjoying collegiality both within Enrollment and Student Services and with my presidential and academic dean colleagues has been a tremendous privilege,” Coughlin said.