CWU announces 15th president


A. James Wohlpart

Mitchell Roland, Editor-in-Chief

The Board of Trustees (BOT) announced today that A. James Wohlpart will be the 15th president in CWU’s history.

It is not known when Wohlpart will officially take over for James L. Gaudino.

Wohlpart currently serves as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), and previously served as interim president at North Iowa from July 2016 to Jan. 2017.

In a press release, Wohlpart said through learning more about CWU and the Ellensburg area, he realized the job was the right fit for him.

“[CWU’s] core mission of educational opportunity and elevating student success through experiential learning and academic excellence strongly align with my goals as an educator,” Wohlpart said. “Central believes in the transformative power of higher education, as do I, and I look forward to creating educational opportunities for all students.”

Before his current position at UNI, Wohlpart served in various roles at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) including as dean of undergraduate studies from 2011 – 2015, the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005-2011 and chair of the Division of Humanities and Arts from 2000 – 2005.

Wohlpart holds both a Ph.D and B.A. in English as well as a B.A. philosophy from the University of Tennessee and an M.A. in English from Colorado State University.

The BOT Search Advisory Committee chair, Erin Black, said Wohlpart’s commitment to diversity made him a fit for the job.

“The university community said that authentic experience with and a deep commitment to inclusion and diversity should be hallmarks of the new president, and Dr. Wohlpart has demonstrated innovation and personal investment in these areas,” Black said. “He embraces a culture that welcomes diverse and dissenting viewpoints but understands we must be willing to challenge long-held assumptions and come together around a shared vision.”

In his new role, Wohlpart’s annual salary will be $400,000, which is roughly what Gaudino currently makes.

The CWU community will have an opportunity to virtually meet Wohlpart during a webinar today with faculty from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., and additional webinars on Jan. 15 for staff from 9:15 to 10:00 a.m. and for students at 10:15 to 11:00 a.m.