WWU's Sue Guenter-Schlesinger to retire after 16 years at the university

Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, special assistant to the Provost for Education and Development, will retire on Sept. 30 after more than 16 years of service to the university.

“As I reflect on my retirement, it is with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude that I leave Western. It has been a pleasure and a privilege being able to serve students, faculty, and staff on challenging, yet critically important equal opportunity, discrimination, and inclusion issues," said Guenter-Schlesinger. 

"I feel lucky that I have been able to combine my passion for human and equal rights with my profession, for my entire career. Thank you to all my valued colleagues, past staff, and friends for all you have done to enable me to be the best I could be, and to do the best I could do, to serve Western well."

From 2005 to 2019, Guenter-Schlesinger served as Western’s Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, and Title IX and ADA Coordinator. Additionally, she has served as an adjunct faculty in the College of Business and Economics’ MBA Program, where she has taught employment discrimination law, focusing on broader issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Before coming to Western, she served 14 years as Assistant Executive Vice President, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, at Utah State University. Guenter-Schlesinger began her career in Heidelberg, Germany, serving 9 years as Chief, Equal Opportunity, for the Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe. Shortly thereafter, she received a Presidential appointment to the Defense Advisory Committee for Women in the Services.

In her current role, she provides leadership on strategic initiatives concerning accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her efforts focus on managing Western’s Diversity and Inclusion Hiring Initiative, including conducting search committee and implicit bias trainings for leadership, faculty and staff; and developing and facilitating executive leadership training in areas of equal opportunity and social justice.

Some of Guenter-Schlesinger’s accomplishments include developing and implementing the first mandatory training in the prevention of sexual harassment for Western faculty and staff; providing leadership for a comprehensive ADA campus architectural accessibility study which led to the development of Western’s first campus map showing usable and accessible routes as well as locations for accessible restrooms and building entrances; and serving on Washington State Governor’s Affirmative Action Policy Committee.

WWU Provost Brent Carbajal thanked Guenter-Schlesinger for her service to the university and wished her well.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Sue Guenter-Schlesinger over the years. I've known very few people more dedicated to Western, more passionate about their work, or more committed to supporting healthy and positive work environments than is Sue. Her work has been instrumental in establishing many programs and policies on campus, most recently in education about and implementation of Western's inclusive hiring practices and anti-bias training,” he said. “I'm confident that Western will have the honor of counting Sue as a friend of the university for years to come, but right now we celebrate her wonderful career and wish her all the best as she transitions to retirement.”

Feel free to drop any well wishes to Sue at her campus email at guentes@wwu.edu.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 11:01am

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