PULLMAN — WSU Provost Robert C. Bates was honored for his commitment to diversity as part of a special ceremony that displayed the new signs which were installed to identify the College Hill Historic District.
Bates was recognized in the newly equipped diversity education training room in the basement of the Talmadge Anderson Heritage House—one of three houses on Pullman’s “B” Street that have been purchased by WSU and refurbished to create cultural houses for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Pullman community.
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“Dr. Bates was instrumental in providing central leadership and support for what you see around you today,” said Felicia Gaskins, associate vice president for the Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity.
The art work for the new signs for the College Hill Historic District was designed by WSU students Josh Bland, Tim Chun, Lauren Clark and Tamara Vallejos as part of a project in their English Digital Design class taught by Professor Kristin Arola. The Pullman Arts Commission selected the design from six others created by the class.
“What a wonderful day this is,” Bates said after receiving a plaque. “This training facility will help the legacy we started live on by providing thousands of future students, faculty and staff an opportunity to receive a quality education on the important issues of diversity. I’m truly touched.”
Michael Tate,  vice president for the Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity said, “As Bob invested in the establishment of our diversity education program and these cultural houses, he placed a lot of trust in us that inspired us to create something great.”
In the midst of Bate’s recognition, the search continues among the four candidates selected for the position of provost and executive vice president. Candidate hopefuls are scheduled to visit the university May 5-7.
Both open forums will be simulcast to the WSU campuses at Spokane, Vancouver and the Tri-Cities. Both candidates also will hold a series of meetings with members of the search committee and various campus groups during their visits.
First candidate, Eric James Barron, dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences and Jackson Chair in Earth Systems Science at the University of Texas Austin. He will appear at an open forum at 3 p.m. May 5 in Room T-101 of the Food Sciences and Human Nutrition Building on the Pullman campus.
Barron earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Florida State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in oceanography, both from the University of Miami. He has worked as an associate professor at the University of Miami, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State. He has been dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences since 2006.
Second candidate, Steven L. Hoch, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, is scheduled to visit May 6-7. He is scheduled to attend an open forum at 3 p.m. May 6 at T-101.
Hoch earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Trinity College in Connecticut and his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Princeton. He also studied at L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and at Moscow State University. He was a lecturer in history at Trinity, an assistant and associate professor of history at Drew and an assistant, associate and full professor of history at the University of Iowa. He served as associate provost for academic programs and dean of international programs at the University of Iowa before assuming the deanship at the University of Kentucky in 2003.
Two other candidates are scheduled to visit the following week. Their schedules will be announced when they are finalized.
Candidate CVs and schedules will be made available at the provost search Web site at http://www.provost-execvp-search.wsu.edu/