PULLMAN, Wash. — Ken Casavant, a faculty member at Washington State University since 1971, has been appointed interim vice provost for academic affairs starting Jan. 16.
In announcing his selection, Provost Gretchen M. Bataille said Casavant “brings to the position many years of WSU experience and a broad knowledge of the needs of both the university and the state of Washington.”
The provost expects to soon name the committee that will take charge of an internal search for a vice provost.
Casavant said he is not a candidate for the position, but hopes to continue the responsibility and sense of honesty Geoff Gamble gave to the position. Gamble resigned the post last month to become provost at the University of Vermont.
“I also stand ready to help Provost Bataille as she builds her office and to work with the search committee to find the best internal candidates possible,” he said.
“The internal search is important for this position,” Casavant added. “The vice provost needs to know and understand the culture of WSU.”
Among his duties will be to work with the Faculty Senate and the state Higher Education Coordinating Board, and activities concerned with personnel matters, tenure and promotion.
Casavant has served as chair of the Faculty Senate and co-chair of the WSU Foundation’s Faculty/Staff Drive. He has received four major teaching awards, including a national honor from the American Agricultural Economists Association.
Casavant is a former Pullman City Council member and a past president of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce. A transportation specialist, he helped design Pullman’s transit system. He has served on the Pullman-Moscow Airport Board and the steering committee for the state transportation plan.
A professor of agricultural economics, Casavant leaves his position on the Northwest Power Planning Council, a post he has held since 1994, when a replacement is appointed.
“I have accepted the interim position with a sense of service. WSU has given me a lot over the last 40 years. If I can now be of service, all the better,” he said. Casavant came to WSU as a graduate student in 1967 and earned his doctorate in 1971.