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Presidential Search Search Advisory Committee

Regents name search advisory committee

A 25-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee is in the process of helping to identify presidential candidates. The committee will recommend finalists for the position to the Board of Regents.

The committee reflects a broad cross-section of the WSU community statewide, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and other stakeholders. Longtime Regent Michael C. Worthy is chairing the committee.

The Regents expect to appoint WSU’s next president by the end of spring semester 2016.

Presidential Search Advisory Commmittee


Michael C. Worthy
Member, Board of Regents, Washington State University
Alumnus, WSU Class of 1977
Co-founder, President, and CEO, WW Payment Systems, Inc.

Michael Worthy was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2006 and served as its chair in 2009-2010 and 2014-15. His past service to WSU includes terms on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for Washington State University Vancouver and the Washington State University Foundation Board of Trustees. Prior to his appointment as a WSU Regent, Worthy served as a member of the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board.

A life member and past president of the WSU Alumni Association, Regent Worthy received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in 2002 and the Foundation’s Outstanding Service Award in 1996. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from WSU.

Regent Worthy is co-founder, president, and CEO of WW Payment Systems, Inc., a financial services company focused on the commercial trucking industry.


Jennifer Adam
Associate Director, State of Washington Water Research Center
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jennifer Adam joined the WSU faculty in 2008. Her research interests include the hydrologic impacts of global change, earth systems modeling, and land/atmosphere interactions. She teaches courses in water resources engineering, sustainable development in water resources, and hydroclimatology. In 2015, she received the INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine’s Top 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award.

Dr. Adam earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado.

Steven Ashby
Steven Ashby
Laboratory Director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Steven Ashby has served as the director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash., since April 2015 after previously serving as PNNL’s deputy director for science and technology. As deputy director, he led institutional strategic planning activities, stewarded an $80 million discretionary research portfolio, and promoted Laboratory-wide efforts to elevate PNNL’s standing in the broader scientific community.

Before joining PNNL in 2008, Dr. Ashby spent nearly 21 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. He earned a doctorate and master’s degree in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/computer science at Santa Clara University.

Annette Barton
Annette Barton
Maintenance Mechanic 3 (Lead), Facilities Operations

Annette Barton, a 31-year WSU employee, will bring her insights about staff advancement opportunities as well as the perspective of a bargaining unit employee to the search process.

She has developed broad expertise in facilities maintenance during her WSU career. Among her past positions: maintenance custodian, maintenance mechanic 2 (refrigeration), locksmith, and interim maintenance mechanic supervisor.

Annette currently co-supervises a 23-member crew that maintains all of WSU Pullman’s academic and research buildings—both on and off campus. The team serves as first responders to daytime facility needs, dealing with issues that include swimming pool chemistry, lighting, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

K. Duane Brelsford, Jr.
Duane Brelsford
Secretary, WSU Foundation Board of Governors
Alumnus, WSU Class of 1981
President and CEO, Corporate Pointe Developers

After graduating from Washington State University in 1981, Duane Brelsford achieved success in commercial development in California and western Washington. He returned to Pullman in 2000 to create Corporate Pointe Developers.

Longtime supporters of, and believers in, the quality of life created by the City of Pullman and WSU, Duane and his wife, Terri, have generously contributed to several WSU programs as donors and volunteers, including the Carson College of Business, Cougar Athletics, and the Honors College. Duane has been a member of the WSU Foundation Board of Governors since 2011.

Daryll DeWald
Daryll Dewald
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Daryl DeWald serves as dean of the largest academic college at WSU. He joined the University in 2010 from Utah State University, where he was on the faculty 15 years and chaired the biology department.

He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has managed research grants from several federal agencies and private organizations. His undergraduate (University of Wyoming) and graduate (Texas A&M University) degrees are in biochemistry, and he completed post-doctoral work at U.C. San Diego. Prior to his academic career, Dr. DeWald worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years.

Larry Hanson
Larry Hanson
Publisher Emeritus, The Everett Herald

Retired newspaper publisher Larry Hanson is among the Snohomish County community leaders who partnered with University officials to establish WSU North Puget Sound at Everett and currently is a member of its coordinating and policy board.

He served for eight years on the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board and was a member of former Governor Gardner’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Education Reform and Funding. Among Larry’s many community service roles: president or chairman of the Everett Area Chamber of Commerce, Snohomish County Economic Development Council, and United Way of Snohomish County.

He is a graduate of Everett Community College and the University of Washington.

Dylan Heyne
Dlyan Heyne
Senior, Pre-Law and Psychology
Director, University Affairs, Associated Students of Washington State University Pullman

In addition to serving on the ASWSU executive staff, Dylan Heyne is the vice president of his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. Among his other campus activities: Student Success Council, Information Technology Strategic Advisory Committee, College Republicans, and the University Academic Advising Executive Council.

The resident of Graham, Wash., is pursuing two majors and minoring in business. Following completion of his undergraduate studies, he plans to seek a master’s degree in business administration.

Laura M. Jennings
Laura Jennings
Member, Board of Regents, Washington State University
Founder and CEO, Knack

Laura Jennings was appointed to the Board of Regents in July 2005. She is the founder and CEO of Knack, a Seattle-area social gifting marketplace. Earlier in her career, she spent 12 years as an executive at Microsoft Corporation, serving as vice president of worldwide strategic planning, vice president of MSN, and in various other capacities.

Regent Jennings also serves on the boards of Laird Norton Company, Laird Norton Wealth Management, and the YWCA of the USA. She earned a master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Illinois.

Colleen Kerr
Colleen Kerr
Vice President, External Affairs and Government Relations

Colleen Kerr and her team engage constituents at the regional, state, and federal levels to advance the University’s public policy goals. This includes development of strategic initiatives to match WSU’s research strengths and land-grant mission with opportunities to address a wide range of social and economic needs.

Colleen joined WSU in 2010 after serving as legislative director for Washington State Majority Leader Lisa Brown. She earned a law degree from the University of Washington and three master’s degrees: in public policy from the University of Chicago, and in international security studies and modern history from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Mike King
Mike King
Second Vice President, WSU Alumni Association
Member, WSU Foundation Board of Trustees
Alumnus, WSU Class of 2006
Vice President, Kidder Mathews

Mike King has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles at the University since his graduation in 2006. The insights he has gained about WSU from these experiences will allow him to represent a variety of constituent views during the presidential search. And because of his numerous interactions with former presidents Floyd and Rawlins through his WSU service, Mike understands the personal attributes and qualities required by the University’s next leader.

The former ASWSU vice president earned a bachelor’s degree in finance with an emphasis in real estate from the Carson College of Business.

Debbie Lee
Debbie Lee
Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Professor of English

Debbie Lee has served on a number of WSU committees in 18 years at the University, including provost’s committees on annual reviews and tenure and promotion. Among the insights she will contribute to the search: an understanding of the standards of excellence and shared governance established by the administration and faculty.

Dr. Lee has authored and edited 6 books focused on the literature and history of the 19th century as well as dozens of articles and creative pieces about living in the American West. She holds a doctoral degree in British literature from the University of Arizona.

Lucila Loera-Herrera
Lucila Loera-Herrera
Assistant Vice President, Access, Equity, and Achievement
Division of Student Affairs

Lucila Loera-Herrera leads WSU’s institutional efforts to ensure the success and wellbeing of students, concentrating her efforts in three areas: access for first-generation and low-income populations, student development and retention, and external funding for student services.

She has secured federal funds to help establish several programs on campus that increase accessibility. They include TRIO’s Student Support Services Program, Upward Bound, the College Assistance Migrant Program, and the First Scholars program funded by the Suder Foundation.

Lucila earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology at WSU and a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Anne McCoy
Anne McCoy
Deputy Director, Intercollegiate Athletics

Veteran intercollegiate athletics administrator Anne McCoy has served WSU since 2001. In her current capacity she supervises all aspects of the athletics department’s day-to-day operations along with several specific areas, including human resources, equipment, and computer operations. She also oversees 14 of WSU’s 17 athletic programs.

Anne recently completed a term as vice president of the Pac-12 Conference¹s Executive Committee. She is also the past chair of the NCAA Women¹s Rowing Committee.

A Wisconsin native, Anne earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.

Mel Netzhammer
Mel Netzhammer
Chancellor, WSU Vancouver

Mel Netzhammer has served as chancellor of Washington State University Vancouver since July 2012. Previously provost and vice president for academic affairs at Keene State College in New Hampshire, he is the second chancellor in WSU Vancouver’s 26-year history, advancing the University’s mission to provide access to baccalaureate-level education in Southwest Washington.

Dr. Netzthammer volunteers with several boards and committees dedicated to education and economic development in Vancouver and Portland. A native of New Orleans, he studied communication in college, earning a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Utah.

Guy H. Palmer
Guy Palmer
The Creighton Chair and Senior Director of Global Health
Regents’ Professor, Pathology and Infectious Diseases

Regents’ Professor Guy Palmer is the senior director of global health and was the founding director of the WSU Paul G. Allen School of Global Animal Health. He currently leads disease control programs in Africa and Latin America and directs the Robert R. Fast Laboratory at WSU.

Dr. Palmer heads the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Program in Infectious Diseases and Microbial Immunology and holds an NIH MERIT award for research on pathogen emergence. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and holds joint appointments at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania, and the University of Washington, Seattle.

Donna L. Paul
Donna Paul
Associate Professor of Finance and Academic Director
Carson College of Business
Washington State University Tri-Cities

Donna L. Paul joined the WSU Tri-Cities faculty in 2014 after spending 10 years as a faculty member on the WSU Pullman campus. Her research interests are in the areas of corporate governance, corporate investments, and dividend policy. She has received awards from both undergraduate and graduate students for excellence in teaching.

Dr. Paul earned a Ph.D. in finance at the University of Oregon.

Gary M. Pollack
Gary Pollack
Dean, College of Pharmacy

Gary Pollack is dean of the WSU College of Pharmacy, which will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding in 2016. He served on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 26 years before joining WSU in 2010.

Dr. Pollack’s research has centered on the disposition and action of drugs and toxicants in the central nervous system. He has mentored more than 40 undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in his laboratory, and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and scientific abstracts. He earned a Ph.D. in pharmacy from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Lura J. Powell
Lura Powell
Vice Chair, Board of Regents, Washington State University
Former Chair, Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund

Lura J. Powell was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the Board of Regents in 2014. Regent Powell is the former director of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Prior to her DOE service, she served as director of the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

Regent Powell earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of Maryland. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Paula Groves Price
Paula Groves Price
Associate Dean for Diversity and International Programs
Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning
College of Education

Paula Groves Price is a scholar in the field of cultural studies in education. Her research areas of interest include equity, culture, and multiculturalism in schools; African American and indigenous education; and culturally responsive teacher education and educational leadership preparation.

Dr. Groves Price teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in diversity, multicultural education, qualitative research, and critical race theory. She earned a doctorate in the social foundations of education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2002.

Kenneth P. Roberts
Kenneth Roberts
Acting Dean, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Professor, School of Molecular Biosciences

In 2015, as then acting dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Ken Roberts was one of the WSU leaders who convinced the Washington legislature to amend a 1917 state law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington.

Dr. Roberts joined WSU Spokane from the University of Minnesota, where he was an associate professor in the Departments of Urologic Surgery and Integrative Biology and Physiology. His primary research interest is sperm maturation, function, and fertilization with application to male infertility and contraception. He earned a doctorate in biochemistry at Washington State University.

Hayley Statema
President, Associated Students of Washington State University Everett
Senior, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
WSU North Puget Sound at Everett

Hayley Statema completed Running Start courses and attended community college in her hometown of Everett before enrolling at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett. Hayley is majoring in integrated communications and intends to become a nonprofit event organizer and public relations specialist, working specifically with awareness of the Autism spectrum.

As the first ASWSUE president, Hayley is working to create a Cougar culture on the campus. She is familiar with both the Everett and Pullman campuses, and she appreciates the opportunities she’s received to develop real-world connections through her WSU education.

Mikal Thomsen
Mikal Thomsen
Member, WSU Foundation Board of Governors
Alumnus, WSU Class of 1979
Managing Director, Triology Equity Partners

A third-generation Cougar, Mikal Thomsen co-founded Western Wireless and VoiceStream (now T-Mobile USA) and Triology Equity Partners, where he is a managing director. He served on the WSU Presidential Search Committee that resulted in the hire of the late President Elson S. Floyd.

Mikal is a member of the WSU Foundation Board of Governors and co-chairs the campaign to fund WSU’s new medical school. He previously has served as president of the Foundation and on the board of the WSU Research Foundation. He serves or has served on more than 20 company and non-profit boards.

Melanie Thornton
Melanie Thornton
President, Graduate and Professional Student Association, Washington State University
Ph.D. candidate, Environmental and Natural Resources

Melanie Thornton brings the perspective of a WSU almuna (M.S.’12) and current student to the presidential search process. Beginning her fifth year on the Pullman campus, she will apply her understanding of WSU’s culture and experiences developed from relationships with colleges in addition to her own to the presidential search process.

Melanie’s leadership experience through the WSU Graduate and Professional Student Association has broadened her skillset and made her a more collaborative participant in processes that promote full engagement and appreciation for committee work.

Richard S. Zack
Richard Zack
Director, M.T. James Entomological Collection
Professor, Entomologist, and Extension Specialist
Alumnus, WSU Class of 1982 (Ph.D.)

Richard Zack currently serves as chair of the WSU Faculty Senate. He has been a member of the WSU community since 1976, first as a student, then as both a staff and faculty member. He currently is a professor in the Department of Entomology.

Dr. Zack has made significant contributions to the teaching, research, and outreach activities of the University and has received a number of WSU and national teaching awards. He has mentored and served on the committees of more than 30 graduate students and published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.