Tri-Cities chancellor named assoc. exec. v.p.

PULLMAN — Washington State University Tri-Cities Chancellor Larry James has been named associate executive vice president for the Pullman campus. David Lemak, professor of management and director of business programs at WSU Tri-Cities, will take over as interim chancellor of that campus.

The changes are part of an executive reorganization plan announced today (Aug. 1) by WSU President V. Lane Rawlins. The plan calls for Robert Bates, provost and academic vice president for WSU, to also serve as executive vice president for the Pullman campus, giving him an increased role in management of the campus. In his new administrative role in support of the provost, James will work closely with the office of budget and planning, and will coordinate with the other vice presidential areas and academic leaders in the colleges  

Rawlins said the goal of the changes is to allow him more time to focus on external issues, including government relations and fundraising, as well as long-term planning for the university’s future. He said he will continue to serve as chief executive officer of the university and will have budget-setting authority, but Bates will administer the budget and programs for the Pullman campus.

“As a university, we are looking closely at our fund-raising needs, working on new directions in research and expanding operations at our regional campuses and other locations around the state. The concept of the university as a statewide organization is becoming a reality. All of these developments place heavy external demands on us,” Rawlins said. “I believe these changes better position us to reach our goals as a world-class research university with a high commitment to excellent undergraduate education.”

James, a 1970 graduate of WSU, went on to earn a doctorate in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota. He joined the agricultural engineering faculty at WSU in 1977, becoming chair of the department in 1987. He was named associate dean and director of academic programs in 1993, and has served as interim dean of the college. In 1998, James was appointed interim dean at WSU Tri-Cities. He was reappointed as dean in 1999, then assumed the title of chancellor when WSU changed the titles of campus administrators early in 2003.

Lemak was an assistant and associate professor of management at the U.S. Air Force Academy before joining the WSU business faculty after a 20-year career in the Air Force. He earned a doctoral degree in strategy and organization theory from Arizona State University. His research centers on strategy formulation and strategy implementation for both private corporations and public sector organizations.

He was selected as Outstanding Faculty of the Year in the College of Business and Economics for service in 2000. He has been active in a variety of organizations in the Tri-Cities community, including Kennewick Post 5785 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Richland Rotary Club and Benton-Franklin Humane Society. Rawlins said he expects Lemak to play an important role at a time when that community is examining its needs for higher education.

A search is being planned for James’ permanent successor. The changes take effect immediately.

The Tri-Cities Herald wrote an expanded news article on this executive reorganization, with insights into changes at that campus over the past seven years, available at

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