Research & Sponsored Programs' Tracey Finch to retire after 37 years with WWU

Tracey Finch, Grant & Contract Coordinator Lead in Research & Sponsored Programs, will be retiring in late April after 37 years at Western. Tracey began her time at Western as a student in 1975, earning a B.A.E. in secondary mathematics education. Over the years she has held multiple positions across several departments including WEST Center, Campus Recreation, and, for 28 years, in the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. During her tenure in RSP, Tracey helped hundreds of faculty, students, and staff through the grant application process with good cheer and knowledgeable advice. She and her talents will be missed greatly.  

“I know anyone at Western who has submitted a proposal to an external agency and interacted with Tracey Finch will miss her can-do spirit, her grace under pressure, her endless patience, and her keen ability to interpret and explain complex rules and processes to others. I had the deep pleasure of working with Tracey, both as a PI and, more directly, with her when I was Vice Provost for Research,” said emeritus faculty member and retired Dean of the Graduate School Kathy Kitto. “At times, Tracey was the only person to multitask all that was needed to get each proposal out to each agency on time and in compliance with the dizzying and unique rules for that agency. She was willing to work long hours with me, even texting and emailing me while I was traveling to make sure we would get each project done correctly. Perhaps no one outside of RSP can fully understand all that she did for each PI and proposal, often under extreme time pressure. But, I do, and on behalf of Western, thank you so much, Tracey, for being you and all that you have done for us!” 

 Current Vice Provost for Research and Graduate School Dean David Patrick said, “Tracey was there for me during my very first proposal as a new assistant professor – with 15 printed copies – and she’s supported me with every single one since. Including the re- and re-resubmissions. Her knowledge of the grants world is just amazing, and her ability to balance an untold number of spinning plates sometimes seems gravity-defying. I submitted my own first proposal remotely while finishing my postdoc, so Tracey was one of the very first people I got to know at Western. It’s been a tough act to follow. I will miss the personal concern and attention she gave to every one of her 'PIs' including countless hundreds of students, her advocacy for equity, her optimism, and the way she delivers bad news. Above all I’ll miss her professionalism. Thank you, Tracey.”

A celebration of Tracey’s service to WWU will be held in the Solarium (Old Main 590) on Friday, April 15, at 2:30 p.m.  

Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 11:53am