Brent Carbajal Named WWU Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Contact: Paul Cocke, director, WWU Office of Communications and Marketing, (360) 650-3350, Paul.Cocke@wwu.edu
BELLINGHAM – Brent Carbajal has been appointed to a two-year fixed term as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Western Washington University, President Bruce Shepard announced.
“I am pleased that Brent Carbajal has accepted the offer to serve as provost at Western for the next two years,” Shepard said. “There is no doubt in my mind – and this is supported among broad leadership of our campus – that Brent is the right person to serve as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.”
Carbajal is now dean of Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the university’s largest college with 13 academic departments.
Shepard engaged in dialogue with students, faculty, staff, trustees, and community members over the past two weeks to determine the future leadership direction for Academic Affairs. Feedback from that dialogue made it possible to move rapidly on the appointment of Carbajal.
“It became very clear that the vision and leadership Brent has displayed as dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences would be a great fit for the university. His academic values are well recognized and appreciated across campus,” Shepard said.
Carbajal will begin serving as provost after current Provost Catherine Riordan concludes her service in that position in July. Riordan last month announced her resignation as provost.
“It is a distinct honor and privilege to serve as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Western,” Carbajal said. “I am humbled by this appointment and look forward to working with our faculty, staff and students, and with President Shepard and his leadership team. I strongly believe that the source of Western’s outstanding academics is its core excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Those strengths resonate across all academic programs at Western, providing a truly superb learning environment for our students.”
Carbajal has master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Washington. He has been at Western since 1997, serving as a professor of Spanish and for eight years as chair of the University’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages.
Prior to Western, he was an assistant and associate professor of Spanish at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He has published widely in the areas of Latin American literature and culture and Hispanic-American literature and culture.
Plans now are for an interim dean to be named in the near future for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Shepard thanked Catherine Riordan for her service to the university.
“Western is moving forward with great momentum and I am deeply appreciative for the contributions and leadership of Catherine in those efforts,” Shepard said.
The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs is the chief academic officer of Western Washington University and has senior leadership responsibility, particularly having policy and decision responsibility for academic programs, faculty, academic relations with other organizations, academic budgets and academic facilities planning. The provost serves as a member of the senior management team and fulfills an important role in university wide matters. He also represents the university to appropriate external people and organizations and serves as president when the president is unavailable.