By Will Ferguson, WSU News

Joan King, who helped Washington State University transition through three changes in leadership, weather unprecedented state budget cuts, and, most recently, rein in millions of dollars in systemwide overspending, will retire Friday, Oct. 19.

King, associate vice president and chief university budget officer, has been responsible for submitting Washington State University’s budget requests to the state Legislature and distributing operating funds to WSU’s campuses, colleges and departments for the last 17 years.

She said one of the most rewarding aspects of her career has been the opportunity to work with students and advise them on financial matters like how to spend the annual $10 million raised through services and activities fees.

“I truly feel like I’ve had the opportunity to be an educator,” King said. “I came into this role not knowing how broad and deep it would be, but I’ve enjoyed it every step of the way. I have a tremendous staff, and I will miss them every day.”

Following King’s retirement, the university Budget Office will be moved under the direction of WSU’s Division of Finance and Administration. King is currently working with Stacy Pearson, vice president for finance and administration, to make the transition as seamless as possible.

“Joan has played an essential role in helping me understand the intricacies of the university budget and how it works,” Pearson said. “The transition will be made easier due to the fact that I have been working with her staff since I began my role here a year and a half ago.”

Pearson is no stranger to managing a university budget. She was in charge of both budget requests and financial, business and administrative operations at Boise State University for 20 years, prior to joining WSU in 2016.

Pearson said one of her first major priorities will be integrating data from the Budget Office and Division of Financial Affairs into a single, integrated electronic system. Set to go live in July 2020, the new system will help Pearson’s staff more effectively track how the university is spending money from budget inception through audited financial statements.