The Eastern Washington University Board of Trustees (BOT) has named Dr. Mary Cullinan, the 26th president of Eastern Washington University, effective Aug. 1.
Cullinan has served as president of Southern Oregon University (SOU) in Ashland, Oregon, since 2006 and brings 34 years of extensive higher education experience to the Cheney campus.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Cullinan’s caliber come to Eastern Washington University,” said BOT Chair Paul Tanaka. “Her tremendous academic and leadership experience, along with her focus on student success, make her an ideal choice to serve as president of Eastern.”
During her eight years at SOU, Cullinan led SOU to identify and implement a strategic vision for success that focused purposefully on access and success for all students. She believes her passion for student success aligns well with Eastern’s long commitment to helping students, especially first-generation and those who come from under-represented populations.
“I am thrilled to accept the position of president of Eastern Washington University,” said Cullinan. “EWU is a vibrant institution with powerful commitments to student success and strong connections with the region. It will be an honor to serve as president.”
Prior to taking over at Southern Oregon, Cullinan served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas from 2003 to 2006. She also has substantial experience at two universities in the California State University system, including seven years at California State University, Stanislaus, where she served as dean of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences and professor of English.
Cullinan was selected from a pool of candidates compiled after a nationwide search that began after EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD, announced his retirement earlier this year.
“Dr. Cullinan will continue our mission of working for the success of all students at Eastern,” said Arévalo. “She and I currently sit on the board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and I believe she shares the important passion and values EWU needs to keep moving forward.”
Cullinan earned her MA (1973) and PhD (1978) in English literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She received her BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1972).