Kathleen Kitto is acting vice provost and dean of the WWU Graduate School

Kathleen Kitto has been named the acting vice provost for Research and acting dean of the Graduate School at Western Washington University.

Kitto will assume her new duties on March 15. Moheb Ghali, who has served as vice provost for Research and dean of the Graduate School at Western since 1993, has decided to return to his faculty position as professor of Economics.

“I sincerely appreciate Professor Kitto being willing to lead us through this transition. She has led some very successful interdisciplinary efforts and has familiarity with key federal funding agencies. She will work with skilled and dedicated staff in the Graduate School and sponsored research and already has plans for how to reach out to faculty to ensure support for their work is as effective as it can be,” said Catherine Riordan, Western’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“I have always deeply valued the many ways in which I have been given the honor of serving Western’s community, and I am eager to work closely and thoughtfully with the many stakeholders engaged in our Graduate School and Research and Sponsored Programs as we consider and shape our strategic future,” Kitto said.

Synergistically, I will also be continuing my work with Provost Riordan, Vice President Stephanie Bowers, and many other campus and community leaders on our strategic initiatives and planning, but will be stepping away from the classroom for the first time in my career. Because of the many opportunities and challenges before us, I am very much looking forward to this leadership role."

Kitto, who served as associate dean of Western’s College of Sciences and Technology since its inception in 2003, is special assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives. She is a professor of Engineering Technology and served as chair of that department for seven years. She also served as director of Western’s Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center.

“In my view, Professor Kitto has demonstrated fine managerial-and-leadership skills in her several steps up the administrative ladder. Despite her strong academic interests in teaching and research, because she has a deserved reputation for being a team-building problem solver who is conscientious about all facets of her job, she continues to be encouraged to fulfill administrative roles. I think she is the wise, and in retrospect, obvious choice among faculty at Western to be acting vice provost for Research and dean of graduate studies. I am delighted,” said Roger Anderson, Biology professor and chair of the Academic Coordinating Committee at Western.

Kitto is active in her discipline and is the lead principal investigator on a National Science Foundation project to advance the careers of women within the sciences, engineering and mathematics. She is the lead PI on a second NSF project designed to enhance materials engineering educational outcomes through innovative applications built for smart devices.

She has co-authored three textbooks, written numerous scholarly publications and has served on many review panels and boards. In 2010, Kitto received Western’s Diversity Achievement Award. She was a member of the team that received Western’s Team Recognition awards in 2010 and 2009.