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Friday, May 14, 2021

Board of Trustees welcomes two new members

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed two new members to Western’s Board of Trustees, the eight-member panel that governs the university. Former Superior Court Judge John Meyer and Maureen West, who has a background in the healthcare field, were chosen to serve as board members starting Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Each will serve six-year terms ending Sept. 30, 2021, according to the governor’s list of boards and commissions appointments.

“It is a privilege for me that the governor saw fit to appoint me to the Board of Trustees.  I am tremendously impressed by the quality of the faculty, students and staff at Western,” Meyer said in an email.

As board members, Meyer and West will have a role in deciding Western’s new president, as current president Bruce Shepard will be retiring at the end of this school year. This process will take quite a bit of time, Meyer said.

The Board of Trustees approved a resolution to create a Presidential Search Advisory Committee earlier this year. The committee will assist board members in the search for the next university president by screening, interviewing and recommending potential candidates, according to resolution 2015-06.

Other responsibilities of the board include adopting administrative rules, approving budgets and selecting architects and engineers for the design of large-scale public works like the remodel of Sam Carver Gymnasium, according to the Board of Trustees’ rules of operations. Board members are not regarded as employees of Western.

Trustees are expected to “foster and protect the integrity of the University’s academic mission and values” as well as serving as “an ethical steward of the University’s good name and public reputation”, according to the Board of Trustees orientation guidelines.

The board deliberates on agendas set by the president, as well as input from campus leadership, according to the board’s official website. The remaining board meetings of 2015 will be on Thursday, Dec. 10, and Friday, Dec. 11.

Meyer is from Mount Vernon and West is from Bellingham. The two will be taking the seats of Richard J. Thompson and Ralph Munro, both of whom served six-year terms that ended this year.

Meyer was a trustee at Skagit Valley College from 1993 to 1997, and an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents at the University of Washington from 1997 to 1998. He served as Superior Court Judge in Skagit County for more than 20 years.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge after 20 challenging years on the bench, and what I can do to help maintain Western’s reputation as a first-class university,” Meyer said.

West has previously worked in nursing at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham and as a staff assistant with the World Health Organization, according to a press release.

“Maureen West brings a wealth of knowledge about the healthcare field and expertise in higher education to Western’s Board of Trustees,” President Bruce Shepard said in a press release.

The Board of Trustees convenes at Old Main every other month for two meetings where they govern the university, according to the board’s rules of operations.

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