WSU selects T. Chris Riley-Tillman as next provost

Closeup of Chris Riley-Tillman.
Chris Riley-Tillman

PULLMAN, Wash. — T. Chris Riley-Tillman, an experienced higher education leader and expert in evidence-based educational practices, has been selected to serve as Washington State University’s next provost. 

Riley-Tillman will succeed Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton, who will retain her responsibilities as chancellor of the WSU Pullman campus after serving in a dual role. Riley-Tillman’s first day as WSU’s new provost will be July 1.

“I am honored to serve Washington State University as its next provost,” Riley-Tillman said. “The opportunity to be a part of this historic institution is tremendous, and I look forward to learning about the work of its outstanding faculty and staff in the months ahead.”

Riley-Tillman was one of three finalists invited to make presentations to the WSU community earlier this month following a nationwide search. He currently serves as dean of the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Missouri, where he also holds the Joanne H. Hook Dean’s Chair in Educational Renewal. He is also a professor in the Department of Educational, School & Counseling Psychology. Riley-Tillman previously served as the University of Missouri’s associate provost of faculty affairs and institutional effectiveness.

“Chris’s experience as a professor, department chair and administrator will be critical to his work as provost,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said. “His role as the academic leader of our institution will require open and transparent communications with faculty — particularly as we begin the process of conducting a systemwide administrative and programmatic review — and I am confident he will rise to the occasion.”

Riley-Tillman’s scholarship is rooted in identifying effective educational strategies. He is the co-developer of Direct Behavior Ratings, a process for teachers to identify and respond to the needs of students. He is also the creator and lead developer of the Evidence Based Intervention Network, a web resource for teachers looking to use evidence-based practices in their classrooms. Riley-Tillman has also served in leadership roles on seven federal grants and is a senior advisor for the National Center on Intensive Intervention

Riley-Tillman’s publications include more than 80 journal articles and six books on the topic of social behavior assessment, strategy implementation and single-case design. He earned his doctorate in school psychology from Syracuse University.

In order to allow President Schulz to focus on growing and developing the entire WSU system, Chilton was appointed as the inaugural WSU Pullman chancellor in 2022. She did so while maintaining her responsibilities as provost and executive vice president, a role she began in 2020. The new role allowed Schulz to broaden the scope of his work while ensuring WSU Pullman maintained dedicated leadership.

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