Earl Gibbons, vice provost for Extended Education at Western Washington University, will be retiring in spring 2019.
“Earl has done an extraordinary job of advancing the mission of Western Washington University in his leadership of Extended Education. The success and scope of Western’s programming outside of Bellingham owes a great deal to Gibbons’ administrative acumen and initiative, and his leadership has effected positive change here on campus as well,” said Western Provost Brent Carbajal. “I wish him the very best in his retirement, and thank him for the important work he has done while vice provost.”
During fall quarter, the university will launch a national search for a new vice provost for Extended Education.
“I joined Western, in large part, because, through its mission statement, the university had declared itself to be ‘dedicated to serving the people of the State of Washington.’ I shared that commitment. I believe in that mission and in the intrinsic value and critical importance of public higher education. I have spent much of my working life attempting to further the goals of public higher education and broaden its reach into every corner of our communities, especially those communities historically underserved or even ignored,” Gibbons said.
“A public university isn’t a place, it is portal providing access to knowledge and a pathway to individual and societal development and progress. In Extended Education we have tried to reach out to communities throughout the Puget Sound region, to expand that access, to listen to their needs, and to try to meet them on their own terms. We have had mixed results, and there is much more we should do, still, there have also been important accomplishments.
The people of Extended Education care deeply about students, and they believe in Western and work every day to help propel the institution forward.
“When we have had success, it was with the help of like-minded colleagues in Western’s colleges, but it was also because of unselfish and tireless efforts of the people I had the privilege to work with in Extended Education. In my professional life, I have never worked with a more professional or committed group. The people of Extended Education care deeply about students, and they believe in Western and work every day to help propel the institution forward. It has been rewarding to work alongside them. I am grateful for what they have done to help me, and I am confident about what they will achieve in the future,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons began as vice provost for Extended Education at Western in 2011. He has served as a tenured professor, academic dean and senior academic administrator.
He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Prior to his service at Western, Gibbons was vice provost and associate vice president at the University of North Texas; vice provost for International and Educational Outreach at Eastern Washington University; dean of the College of Business and Economics at Longwood University, in Virginia, and as associate vice president – Overseas Programs, at Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz. He is the co-author of a book, “The Almanac of Modern Terrorism,” and has authored numerous scholarly publications, presented papers at conferences and has been active in professional and community organizations.