Whitworth 2021

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University Council

University Council serves as Whitworth’s chief strategic planning committee. Composed of senior administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders, the Council is equipped to provide definition, oversight and strategic leadership to the university’s highest priorities. Through its stewardship of the university’s vision and strategic plan, Whitworth 2021, University Council will provide governance, creativity, and accountability as the university implements its vision for the future. The Council will be chaired and administered through the Office of the President by the President’s chief of staff. Budget resources for the Council’s operations and expenses will be covered through the Office of the President. The Council will meet monthly.

The primary responsibilities of University Council include:

  • Monitoring the  progress and implementation of Whitworth 2021 through key performance indicators, as defined by the plan, to provide accountability and assessment;
  • Serving as champions of the strategic plan to internal and external constituencies, including to the Board of Trustees;
  • Reviewing Strategic Initiative Fund proposals and making funding recommendations to the President;
  • Establishing a limited number of annual strategic priorities that signal important targets or areas of focus for the university;
  • Providing feedback and counsel to committees, departments, divisions and others with respect to strategic plan alignment;
  • Providing recommendations to the Vice President of Finance and Administration as needed to ensure a rational linkage between strategic priorities and financial planning and budgeting;
  • Periodically assessing progress on strategic goals and making adjustments as necessary; and
  • Serving as a committee of senior advisors to the President and the President’s Cabinet.

University Council will have the authority to form special committees or enlist existing committees as needed to accomplish its responsibilities. Special committees can be composed of outside faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and other constituencies, as needed.

Membership on University Council will primarily be ex officio, i.e., as a function of the member’s leadership position. Five members will be appointed to at-large positions from the ranks of faculty, staff, and students, each serving two-year terms. Ex officio members of the University Council are:

  • President: Beck A. Taylor
  • President’s Cabinet
    • Provost and Executive Vice President: Caroline Simon
    • Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid: Greg Orwig
    • Vice President for Finance and Administration: Gerald Gemmill
    • Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Scott McQuilkin
    • Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students: Rhosetta Rhodes
    • Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration: Luz Merkel
    • Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services: Dolores Humiston
    • Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Lawrence Burnley
    • Dean of Spiritual Life: Forrest Buckner
  • Dean, College of Arts & Sciences: Noelle Wiersma
  • Dean, School of Business: Timothy Wilkinson
  • Dean, School of Education: Barb Sanders
  • Associate Vice President for Graduate Admissions and Continuing Studies: Cheryl Vawter
  • Faculty President: Craig Hinnenkamp
  • President, Staff Development Committee: Joy Diaz
  • President, Associated Students of Whitworth University
  • Director of Athletics: Timothy Demant
  • Director of Institutional Research: Wendy Olson
  • Director of Information Systems: Ken Brown
  • Interim Dean for the Library & Instructional Resources: Ken Pecka
  • Director of University Communications: Nancy Hines
  • Chair, Staff Salary and Benefits Committee: August Weil
  • Chair, Sustainability Committee: Kerry Breno

In addition to faculty, staff, and student representation among the ex officio members, at-large members of University Council are:

  • Three faculty members (as recommended by the Faculty Executive Committee)
    • Raja Tanas (Professor of Sociology)
    • Brent Edstrom (Professor of Music)
    • Bendi Benson Schrambach (Associate Professor of World Languages & Cultures)
  • One student member (as recommended by ASWU)
    • Ian C. Robins, Class of 2015


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