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Dan Bernardo

 Provost and Executive Vice President

Executive Assistant: Kristina Peterson-Wilson

Dr. Daniel J. Bernardo resumed his role as Provost and Executive Vice President of Washington State University in mid-June, 2016 after being named Interim President on July 7, 2015 following the death of President Elson S. Floyd on June 20, 2015.

On May 16, 2014, Bernardo was named Provost and Executive Vice President of WSU. He served in the role on an interim basis from June 1, 2013 to May 15, 2014. As Provost and Executive Vice President, Bernardo serves as the senior academic officer for the university and has responsibility for academic planning; budgeting; diversity programs, international programs, enrollment management, and recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students. Reporting to the President, the Provost and Executive Vice President works with a team of academic deans, vice-provosts, senior administrators, faculty, staff, and student governance bodies to formulate and implement policies that further WSU’s strategic goals.

Bernardo has extensive experience in higher education — including teaching, research, administration, and policy development — at the university, college and department levels. Previously, Bernardo served as Vice President for Agriculture and Extension and Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) from 2005-2013. In that position, he was responsible for administering teaching, research, and outreach programs in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences. Together, CAHNRS and WSU Extension had over 2,200 employees and an annual operating budget of over $180 million. As Dean of CAHNRS, he led efforts to reinvigorate WSU’s food and agricultural programs, including raising over $220 million in private contributions to fund endowed chairs, facility improvements, and programmatic activities.

Prior to moving to Washington State, Bernardo was a Professor and Department Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University (KSU) from 1995 through 2005. Bernardo was on the Agricultural Economics faculty at Oklahoma State University from 1985 to 1995, where he conducted research and taught courses on a variety of topics, including production economics, water resource policy, and agribusiness economics. Bernardo has published over 200 papers on various agricultural economics topics.

Bernardo has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University and a B.S. in Agricultural and Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.



Dan Bernardo

Erica Weintraub Austin

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Principal Assistant: Angela Merrill

Dr. Erica Weintraub Austin has been Vice Provost for Academic Affairs since 2013. From June of 2015 to June of 2016 she served as Interim Co-Provost. She has also served as Director of the Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion Research in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Austin is internationally recognized for her research and outreach on how media literacy and parent-child communication about media contribute to decision making about health and civic affairs among children, adolescents and young adults.  She has served as an advisor to the Washington state and federal government and to organizations nationwide on media literacy issues and health communication campaigns.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has cited her research in multiple policy statements about the health effects of the media on children and adolescents. Austin led the Murrow School of Communication to College status and served as its inaugural dean.  She also established and led a research consortium that earned formal university recognition as a research center in 2010.  She was awarded the 2001 Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award from Washington State University in 2008.

Austin has served as PI, subcontractor, or consultant on media literacy and campaign design/evaluation projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture & Food Research Initiative, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Washington State Division of Social & Health Services.  She has taught courses in public relations, health promotion and communication campaigns at Washington State University since 1989. Austin received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1989.


Kelly Ward

Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition

Principal Assistant: Angela Merrill

Dr. Kelly Ward joined the Office of the Provost in 2017 as Washington State University’s Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition.

In her role, Ward advises the provost, deans, and department chairs on policy and procedural matters related to faculty, and on personnel issues related to individual faculty members as they arise. She assists the provost, deans and department chairs with planning matters related to the faculty and advise the provost on promotion and tenure decisions, annual reviews, third-year reviews, and professional leave decisions. Ward sponsors and directs training and development activities for department chairs and directors, creates and manages a dean onboarding program, directs New Faculty Orientation, directs activities that foster the professional development of faculty and manages faculty awards and recognition programs. In addition, she advises the provost regarding faculty diversity and work-life initiatives, and prepares annual reports for the Office of the Provost on issues such as salary comparisons, equity and diversity and other special reports. Ward acts as a liaison between the provost and groups involved in faculty governance, and acts on other matters at the discretion of the provost.

Ward joined the Office of the Provost after serving as a professor of higher education, and chair in the Department of Educational Leadership, Sport Studies and Educational/Counseling Psychology at WSU.

Ward’s research examines different aspects of faculty careers and the academic labor market, including intersections of work and family for faculty, campus and community engagement, and leadership development. She has worked on a longitudinal study of faculty careers, a national study of department chairs, and the role of contingent faculty in institutional mission and student development. She is also actively involved in research related to race, gender and academic STEM careers with support of the National Science Foundation.

Ward has published widely on topics related to faculty careers in the Review of Higher Education, Higher Education, Innovative Higher Education, and The Journal of Higher Education, in addition to other journals and books. She has also published six books on topics related to higher education, including: Putting Students First, Academic Motherhood, and Faculty Service roles and the Scholarship of Engagement.

Mary F. Wack

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Principal Assistant: Jeannie Holt

Dr. Mary Wack has been Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education since 2007. Her current portfolio includes university-wide academic support services (writing programs, undergraduate research, distinguished scholarships and fellowships, central advising and tutoring services, first-year programs, career services), general education, undergraduate program assessment (Office of Assessment of teaching and Learning), summer programs, transfer issues, undergraduate course management, the Teaching Academy, and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She also coordinates general undergraduate policies, procedures, and strategies.

A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Wack received bachelor’s degrees summa cum laude in English and Classics from Georgetown University. Following a Fulbright year at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, she completed a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies (emphasis in literature) at Cornell University. In 1984-85 she was a Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, and in 1990 she won a Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at Stanford University. Her book, Lovesickness in the Middle Ages, won the Harry Levin Prize from the American Association for Comparative Literature (1990) for the best book in comparative literature.

Wack came to WSU in 1993 as Professor of English and Chair of the department. From 1996 to 1999, she was the founding Senior Fellow and Director of WSU’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. From 2000-2007 she served as Dean of the University Honors College. She served from 1999 to 2005 as Commissioner for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Her current research focuses on nineteenth-century social history and emigration in Northern Ireland.


Craig Parks

Assistant Vice Provost

Don Holbrook

Executive Director

Eric Godfrey

Executive Director, Enrollment Management Programs

Barbara Aston

Director of the Plateau Center for Native American Programs

Michael Highfill

Director of Student Success Initiatives

Todd Mordhorst

Communications Coordinator


Washington State University