WSU has selected Guy Palmer and John Roll to lead and coordinate the university’s academic and research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This coordinated response will focus on matching the university’s expertise with society’s needs, recruiting teams of faculty, staff and students to assist in this effort.

“This may not only help WSU better respond in the nearer term but also very importantly help us be viewed by our stakeholders as a key partner for the future,” a letter from the Office of the Provost reads. “Coordination may also help us better plan how to connect near‑term responses to our decisions about future strategies for our many research, scholarly, creative, and outreach strengths.”

The complete message can be read online. It is signed by Vice President for Health Sciences Daryll DeWald, Vice President for Research Chris Keane, Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations Colleen Kerr and Interim Provost Bryan Slinker.

Palmer, the founding director of WSU’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, currently serves as senior director of global health in addition to serving as a regents professor of pathology and infectious disease. Roll serves as vice dean for research as well as associate vice president for strategic research initiatives at WSU Health Sciences Spokane.

The letter to faculty notes several ongoing research activities related to COVID-19, including efforts to model the spread of the disease. It also urges researchers and scholars to look for opportunities to pivot their work to more directly address COVID-19, pandemic responses and needs and to aftermath if it can be done in accordance with guidelines offered by Keane and Slinker in March.