A celebration of Dr. Ward’s life and legacy will be held on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 2:00 PM in the M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom in the Compton Union Building (CUB) on the WSU campus in Pullman, Washington.  A reception will follow at the Lewis Alumni Centre, also located on the WSU campus.  For more information, please click here.

The WSU family recently lost one of its most committed and respected members. Kelly Anne Ward, vice provost for faculty development and recognition, passed away following an accident that occurred on July 3.

Kelly touched so many people throughout the WSU system through her work on faculty development, as well as her years of service as a faculty member in the College of Education. The numerous tributes coming in through social media and email affirm the deep impact that Kelly had on faculty, staff, and students throughout the WSU system.

Kelly brought leadership, perseverance, and enthusiasm to everything she did, and we in the Provost’s Office were fortunate to have her as a colleague. Kelly had an uplifting, generous spirit that defined her as a person and as an academic leader. She made everyone around her better and was relentless in pursuing positive change. Kelly was a champion for equity and fairness and brought that perspective to her job and her life. She was not afraid to take on even the thorniest of issues if she felt improprieties could be avoided.

Kelly spent just one year working in the Provost’s Office and her impact was profound. When we decided to pivot the former vice provost for faculty affairs position to one more focused on faculty development and recognition, Kelly was an obvious choice. Many of her scholarly endeavors and much of her administrative career had focused on faculty development. Her knowledge on the topic was unparalleled and her passion for working on behalf of her colleagues was infectious. In a single year, she was able to engineer significant changes to improve the quality of life of our faculty, particularly for clinical faculty and instructors on term appointments.

Kelly will likely be most remembered as a champion for women faculty. Throughout her career, she fought to elevate the status of women throughout the academy and at WSU, and worked to better incorporate the complexity of women’s lives and careers into decisions around workload, advancement, and administrative appointments. I regret that I only had a year to work with Kelly, as she taught me much and will forever influence my administrative perspectives.

Our thoughts are with Kelly’s family – her husband Gene, and children Daisy, Lucy, and Henry. I was able to meet Gene, the children, and Kelly’s sisters at the hospital last week; they are an amazing family and truly Kelly’s greatest legacy.


For grief related resources, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-877-313-4455. The program can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More EAP related information is available at: http://hrs.wsu.edu/resources/employee-assistance-program/.