Brent Carbajal becomes Western's chief academic officer
Brent Carbajal has been named as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Western Washington University, President Bruce Shepard announced.
In June 2013, Carbajal was appointed to a two-year fixed term as provost. Earlier this month, he was permanently appointed to the position.
“I am absolutely delighted that our campus will be able to draw upon the talents of such a proven academic leader as Dr. Carbajal,” Shepard said. “Brent deeply understands what Western is foremost about: He knows our values and lives them.”
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 serves as president when the president is unavailable.
Last year, when Carbajal was appointed to serve as provost for two years, Shepard promised that after a year he would consult widely to determine whether to conduct a national search or to make the appointment of Carbajal permanent.
Recently, Shepard engaged in extensive dialogue with campus leaders, including members of the Board of Trustees, student, faculty and staff leadership, and the chairs of the Foundation and Alumni boards. The support for Carbajal was overwhelming.
“The consensus was that we could search the nation and not find someone better suited than Dr. Carbajal,” Shepard said.
“I was honored last summer to accept a fixed-term appointment to serve as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and this academic year has taught me much about the position,” Carbajal said. “I'm now excited to accept an ongoing commitment to work in this capacity, an acceptance informed in part by a fuller understanding of the responsibilities of the position, but also by the fact that I've enjoyed collaborating with President Shepard and colleagues across campus. I look forward to my role in Western's exciting future and I'm humbled by the opportunity.”
Prior to serving as provost Carbajal was dean of Western’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the university’s largest college with 13 academic departments.
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.