Associate Professor Tracy Klein is poised to become Washington State University’s first Faculty Senate chair from outside the Pullman campus in 2024 as well as the first from the College of Nursing.
Klein, a nurse practitioner on the Vancouver campus, was selected by WSU’s faculty as chair-elect of the academic governance group, and will spend the upcoming year working closely with new Chair Eric Shelden and past Chair Christine Horne.
“It’s an honor to be elected to this position,” Klein said. “This is a critical time for faculty across our university system, particularly those that struggle to determine how to make their voices heard, and so the work of Faculty Senate is more important now than ever.”
The mentorship Klein anticipates receiving as chair-elect in the coming academic year will be critical to succeeding as chair during the 2024–25 Faculty Senate session. Each year, Faculty Senate selects a chair-elect, who will go on to serve as chair the following year and then immediate past chair the year after that to help with organizational continuity. This structure ensures that faculty are mentored prior to leading the organization, and can lend their expertise to the leader that follows them.
Klein currently serves as a faculty senator for the College of Nursing as well as co-chair of the WSU Faculty Status Committee, which addresses issues where a faculty member’s status in their position is at issue.
Providing faculty with access to Faculty Senate meeting materials as well as live-streaming and archiving past meetings has been one of the most significant accomplishments in recent years, Klein said.
“I really want to give kudos to the current senate executive committee and their staff, because when you go to the website, the tremendous effort to make senate activities transparent and engaging for faculty as well as non-faculty is clearly evident,” Klein said.
Faculty Senate members also continue to advocate for faculty compensation, something university leadership is working to enhance via requesting additional state funding in the current budget cycle.
In addition to her faculty role, Klein serves as assistant director of WSU’s Center for Cannabis Policy, Research, and Outreach.
Prior to her involvement with the Faculty Senate, Klein served as chair of the College of Nursing’s Faculty Affairs Committee and is also a member of the College’s Health Policy Committee. She previously served on WSU Vancouver’s Council of Faculty Representatives as well as its Diversity Council and Scholarship committees.
Klein has also served on a number of boards and advisory councils related to her research and work as a practitioner, including the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s Scientific Advisory Committee as well as the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Benzodiazepine Titration Guideline Advisory Group. She is also a three-time elected board of Directors member for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and a past board member of ARNP United.
Klein’s term as chair elect begins in August with the start of the 2023–24 Faculty Senate session.