EWU Board Approves Contract for Shari McMahan

The EWU Board of Trustees (BOT) has approved a five-year contract for Shari McMahan, PhD, who is now set to serve as the 27th president of Eastern Washington University. The ratification comes three weeks after the Board unanimously selected McMahan to lead the institution.

Shari McMahan, PhD, during her Feb. 24 visit and interview at Eastern Washington University’s Catalyst (Photo courtesy Dan Pelle/Spokesman-Review).

McMahan, who is currently the provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), will begin her appointment at Eastern on June 24, 2022. Her contract is set to run through June 30, 2027. As part of the agreement, McMahan will live in the University House on campus so she can immerse herself into the Eastern community.

“I am beyond excited to serve as EWU’s next president,” says McMahan. “I look forward to working with the Board, leadership team, faculty, staff, students, alumni and all of our community partners to elevate the importance of EWU in transforming the lives of those in and around the region. I am optimistic and grateful for this opportunity.”

Board Chair Kim Pearman-Gillman noted it was important for the university to have a five year contract for the stability of the university. “We are really thrilled as a Board to be able to bring someone with Dr. McMahan’s capabilities, desire and interest in being an Eagle.”

A first-generation college student, McMahan has a bachelor’s degree and doctorate in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree in health science from California State University, Northridge. She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, given dozens of scientific and community presentations and served on numerous professional task forces.

While at CSUSB, she has been involved in efforts to increase faculty diversity, developed policies to increase graduation rates, assisted with an initiative to help students experiencing food insecurity and worked on strategies to increase campus morale.

McMahan’s hiring comes after a nationwide search that attracted more than 60 applicants and included input from constituents from across campus and the community, including the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

Interim President David May will remain in his role through the transition period.  

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