Board of Trustees complete review of President Bruce Shepard

After completing its review of Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard, the WWU Board of Trustees has released the following statement:


Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Western Washington University, Chairman Philip E. Sharpe, Jr., stated:  “The University’s employment contract with President Shepard calls for a comprehensive evaluation to be conducted at the end of his first year of employment.  This provision was inserted at President Shepard’s request.  This comprehensive review is intended to complement the President’s annual performance reviews conducted by the Board.  The purpose of this review is to aid the ongoing professional development of the President, to provide feedback about the perceptions of stakeholders and to offer constructive suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the President by leveraging strengths and addressing shortcomings identified in the review."

Dr. John W. Moore, a recognized authority on presidential review in universities and colleges, was invited by the Board of Trustees to serve as the facilitator of the review process.  Dr. Moore interviewed a number of diverse stakeholders within and outside the university.  Additionally, individuals who were not invited to participate in review interviews were invited to send written comments to Dr. Moore.  Just short of 100 people participated.

After careful assessment of the comments, the review facilitator, Dr. Moore, provided a compilation of the findings to the Board of Trustees.  These findings were shared with the President in a very open and forthright discussion.  This was accomplished in a manner that preserved the anonymity of those who gave their time to participate in the evaluation.

Mr. Sharpe stated that:  "President Shepard, in the Board's judgment, has proven himself to be an effective leader both on and off the campus.  On campus, he has initiated a cultural transformation marked by engagement, openness and transparency.  In so doing, he has begun to tap the enormous reservoir of energy and talent reposed in Western’s faculty, staff and students.  He has also proven himself to be an effective spokesperson for the University at the local, regional and state levels concerning issues affecting Western in particular and higher education in general.  The Board of Trustees is grateful to President Shepard for his service to the University, and wishes to convey its continuing confidence in and support for his leadership."

"The Board of Trustees would also like to thank the many individuals who participated in the review of President Shepard and to thank the entire Western family for its ongoing commitment to Western’s mission of service to the people of the state of Washington.

President Shepard wished to convey the following message to those who participated in the evaluation:  “Western’s excellence is widely recognized; thoughtful, frank, and clear assessment across-the-board is key to maintaining a high performing enterprise; and I sincerely appreciate the efforts by all who provided me with such help as I endeavor to ever more effectively serve our university.”

President Shepard further stated:  “While it was rewarding to learn that participants identified major progress in key areas, these were the achievements of the many who are the university.  Expectations, it was also clear, remain high; looking forward, I am confident of our ability, together, to fulfill those appropriately high expectations precisely because we increasingly together.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - 8:32am