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Washington State University Office of the Provost

About Provost’s Staff

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.

Kelly Ward
Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Recognition

Angela Merrill
Principal Assistant

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.


Washington State University