PULLMAN, Wash. — President V. Lane Rawlins has announced university plans to create a new vice president position that will focus on diversity issues.

The position will be titled vice president for equity and diversity.

Rawlins made the announcement after consulting with a wide range of the university community on the issue of how best to achieve a diverse mix of faculty, staff and students on WSU’s campuses.

“Washington State University, like most American universities, has not been able to attain a diversity of faculty and staff that reflects the general population or even the diversity of its students,” he said. “Despite the persistent effort of many leaders and the recommendations of generations of committees, the situation within the university leadership and senior faculty, the most visible campus positions, is no better than it was a generation ago. It is clear that is one of the most critical challenges for the next generation at WSU, and the new vice president will provide the leadership to meet that challenge.”

A detailed job description for the vice president position will be developed in consultation with leaders and constituencies across the campus. A national search will be conducted for the best-qualified person to fill this position. No final decision has been made about which existing units will report to the new vice president.

Rawlins said he will appoint an interim vice president this summer to establish the office and to begin developing the necessary working relationships.