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Dean of Students Ted Pratt retires; scholarship established in his name

  • Ted poses with his President's Exceptional Effort Award

Ted Pratt, Western Washington University’s longtime dean of students, has retired and he is being honored with a WWU scholarship in his name.

“After 32 years of dedicated and faithful service to Western, Ted Pratt retired on Dec. 5. We will miss him more than I can easily express, and also hope that retirement brings him every good thing!” said Melynda Huskey, Western’s vice president for Enrollment and Student Services.

“As we think about next steps for the dean of students’ area, I have asked Associate Deans of Students Michael Sledge and Eric Alexander to continue in their temporary roles. With many searches under way across the division, and with a stable structure currently holding steady, I feel confident we can take a bit of time to assess what the right path forward will be for the area, and expect to make those decisions in February,” Huskey said.

The Western Washington University Foundation seeks to endow the Ted Pratt Dean of Students Diversity & Leadership Scholarship by securing gifts sufficient to make it a permanent and lasting tribute providing much needed support for students in honor of Pratt.  For more information or to donate please visit:

A Great Mentor

People who have worked with Pratt through the years at Western say his empathy and support for students made a significant difference.

“Ted is such a relational person and a great mentor,” said Eric Alexander. “One of the best pieces of advice Dean Pratt shared was to ‘speak in the language of the listener.’ This simple truism was the cornerstone to his ability for relationship building. Working to find mutual understanding and care for one another was paramount. His ability to build and care for all sort of relationships with students, staff, faculty, community members and beyond was a gift we will miss.”

Michael Sledge said that, “During his many years here, Dean Pratt had a profound and far-reaching impact on the Western community, and on countless students for whom he’s been a resource and mentor. He will be greatly missed.”

Pratt, originally from Detroit, Michigan, obtained his bachelor’s degree from WWU in 1981 with a Theater Arts major and Psychology minor.  During his undergraduate years, he worked in the university residence system as an assistant manager of Buchanan Towers, a peer advisor in Academic Advising, and a student assistant in the Vice President of Student Affairs Office.

His ability to build and care for all sort of relationships with students, staff, faculty, community members and beyond was a gift we will miss.

In 1987, after working in the private sector, Pratt returned to Western as an Admissions/Financial Aid counselor, charged with the task of enhancing campus student ethnic diversity.  In 1993, he completed his M.Ed. at Western in Student Personnel Administration.

Pratt served as dean of Student Life and was asked to serve for a year as interim executive director of Western’s Alumni Association, assisting in the restructuring of the organization, before returning in 2003 to the position as dean of students, a position he held since then.

Pratt received the 2012 Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center Community Peace Builder Award, and Western’s 2002 Diversity Achievement Award for his successful efforts to increase multicultural enrollment. He also received Western’s Exceptional Effort Award.

Active professionally and in the community, Pratt has served as vice president of the Emerald City Sports Club, Miss Whatcom County selection committee; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES); National Association for Student Professional Administrators (NASPA); Selective Services Board, Governor/Presidential appointment; Whatcom County Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, and the Whatcom County Loving Brotherhood.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 11:23am