Robert Squires has been named the new vice provost for Outreach and Continuing Education at Western Washington University, and will begin work at his new post in August.
Squires, who was hired following a national search, is the current director of UMOnline in the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning at the University of Montana in Missoula. Squires takes over for Earl Gibbons, who is retiring.
The vice provost for Outreach and Extended Education is tasked with a broad array of responsibilities, such as overseeing Western’s partnerships with community colleges at locations in Everett, Port Angeles, Bremerton, and Poulsbo; online degree programs; learning opportunities for young learners and seniors; and a variety of international educational opportunities for Western students and community members.
“We’re thrilled that Dr. Robert Squires will be joining Western as vice provost for Outreach and Continuing Education,” said WWU Provost Brent Carbajal. “Dr. Squires brings a wealth of experience to the position, and his leadership will be instrumental as we work to advance the university and to meet our strategic goals. With a vision that aligns with Western’s values and mission, Dr. Squires is also possessed of an administrative acumen and communication skills key to the realization of exciting opportunities before us.”
Squires received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Montana in 2018, and he has master's degrees in English Literature and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh, respectively.
Prior to his current position, he has served as the director of Instructional Design and Technical Support for Extended Learning Services in Missoula, as well as Extended Learning Services’ associate director of Instructional Design.
While in Missoula, Squires partnered with community and local leaders on developing non-credit and credit online opportunities in diverse areas such as Wilderness Training, Child and Family Therapy, Living and Working with a Disability, Geriatric Health, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), Youth Leadership and Advocacy, Dual-Enrollment Professional Teacher Development, Sexual Assault Prevention, Addiction Services, Law Enforcement, and Marketing.
He also chaired the Montana University System’s statewide committee on online education on areas related Montana University System strategic goals: research-based practices, accessibility, faculty professional development, online copyright, open educational resources, state authorization, online course and program evaluation, and addressing online complaints.
Squires said that the more he learned about Western, the more interested he became in the job.
“During the interview process, I was greatly impressed with Western Washington's strategic focus on providing opportunities for learners of diverse backgrounds across the state and beyond,” he said. “This vision resonated deeply with me, and I am excited to join the campus in the important work of serving the people of Washington through the outstanding educational opportunities Western provides.”
Carbajal also thanked Gibbons for his nine years of leadership, and noted that he undertook and completed a difficult rebranding of the division, from its previous incarnation as Extended Education to its new form as Outreach and Continuing Education, before he left.
“I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Dr. Gibbons for his excellent service as he moves into retirement. His steadfast commitment to Western and to diversifying Extended Education to serve our communities have been key to our mission fulfillment over the years,” said Carbajal.