PULLMAN, Wash. — V. Lane Rawlins will become the next president of
Washington State University. Rawlins, who is currently president of the
University of Memphis, will take over from retiring WSU President Samuel
Smith in July.
The WSU Board of Regents made the appointment today, concluding a
six-month search. Rawlins will become the university’s ninth president. He will
earn a salary of $245,000 per year plus deferred compensation of $50,000.
Rawlins says he is pleased to return to WSU where he spent 18 years as a
faculty member and administrator. “This is like coming home. It is very exciting
to return to the institution that has meant so much to me in my professional
life. I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the success of
WSU in a leadership role.”
Peter Goldmark, WSU regent and search committee chair, says Rawlins will be
an extraordinary asset to the university. “When we set out on this search we
had the task of finding the very best president possible, someone who could
build on the foundation that has been put in place by Sam Smith. We are very
excited to have found Lane Rawlins, who exceeds all our expectations, for the
ninth president of WSU.”
Goldmark says Rawlins will take the institution to a new level. “He has unique
capabilities, vast experience and his leadership will move this institution in new
directions. We take great pleasure in welcoming him to the WSU family.”
Rawlins has been president of the University of Memphis since 1991. He is
known for expanding academic programs and for a commitment to the
development and use of information technology. Eight additional endowed
chairs and six new research centers have been created during his tenure at
Memphis. Research funding has more than tripled.
Rawlins is recognized for developing and implementing strategies to bring the
university and community together. He is also involved in many national and
He received a bachelor of science degree in economics from Brigham Young
University in 1963 and a doctorate in economics from the University of
California at Berkeley in 1969.
A native of Idaho, Rawlins and his wife, Mary Jo, have three children and nine
grandchildren. He enjoys outdoor sports, especially fly fishing and golf. His
interests also include travel and writing.
On Friday, Rawlins will travel to each of the WSU branch campuses. He will be
at WSU Spokane’s Riverpoint campus, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane
Interdisciplinary Design Institute, from 9-10 a.m.; at WSU Tri-Cities, 2710
University Drive, Richland, East Building Commons, from 11:45 a.m. -12:45
p.m.; and at WSU Vancouver, 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave., Student Services
Building, Room 110, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.