Like most Cougars, Mark Beattie can truly appreciate Andy Grammer’s hit song that echoes through Martin Stadium on football game days.

Mark Beattie serves as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at WSU Everett.

“And no matter where we go, we always find your way back home,” the chorus hums.

After more than 30 years away, Beattie found his way back to WSU and he’s now helping foster a new generation of Cougs at WSU Everett. His background in the hospitality industry combined with his endless enthusiasm makes him a marvelous ambassador for WSU on the west side of the state.

“I was the seventh person hired here (at WSU Everett), and the key to building it has been the tremendous support from the community,” says Beattie, who serves as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. “WSU is really fulfilling the land grant mission here by providing access to higher education for students across the state. The Island, Skagit and Snohomish County students did not have a four-year option before.”

Beattie graduated from WSU in 1981 after transferring to the Pullman campus from Yakima Valley Community College. He spent decades in the hotel, hospitality and restaurant industry and then decided to pursue his MBA at Gonzaga in 2001. After receiving encouragement from former longtime WSU professor Denney Rutherford, Beattie completed his PhD at Gonzaga in 2009, meanwhile teaching as an adjunct professor in Pullman.

Beattie was weighing his employment options after earning his doctorate when the opportunity at WSU Everett presented itself. He embraced the opportunity to build the Cougars’ presence on the west side of the state.

“The vice chancellor role entails a lot of hats, but we have a tremendous faculty here and everyone is amazing to work with,” Beattie says. “My position is more internally focused, to keep the ship going in the right direction.”

Just prior to his start as associate vice chancellor, Beattie enrolled in the Provost’s Leadership Academy, an experience that prepared him well for his new role.

“I got to engage with a cohort of peers that I could really count on as I was learning the ropes,” Beattie says. “I would have to say the Provost’s Leadership Academy is an investment in yourself. It’s a huge commitment and it’s not something you should take lightly, but it’s a wonderful opportunity. I’m forever grateful the Provost’s office sees value in this type of thing—it’s lifelong education.”