During the much-awaited summer, staff behind the scenes at Eastern Washington University underwent an important transition that will aid them in the challenges of having the largest populated fall quarter Eastern has ever seen with 9,200 students — up from 8,900 last year.
Former Vice President for Academic Affairs, Peter Daul, stepped down in May, and on June 10 Brian Levin-Stankevich was titled the interim provost (chief academic officer) and new Vice President for Academic Affairs. He will remain the interim provost until they find an individual to fill the position permanently.
Prior to coming to EWU in 1995, Levin-Stankevich was the acting Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Florida Atlantic University. He was also the Associate Dean of the Schmidt College of Arts and Humanities at FAU, where he was the Chief Financial Officer of the university.
Levin-Stankevich began at Eastern as the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and in 1999 he was named the Vice President for Student Affairs. Now, as the new Interim Provost Vice President of Academic Affairs, William Ponders will take over as the Interim Vice President of Student Affairs.
Ponders has a background of 18 years in student affairs and is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management Development Program. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Cheney City Planning Council who writes and makes national presentations on numerous enrollment and admissions matters.
He started at Eastern in 1999 as the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, which includes responsibilities such as being chief enrollment management officer, supervising admissions, registration and records, and new student orientation. As of June 21, though, Bruce Defrates will be in charge of those tasks and Shannon Flynn will replace Defrates position as the Interim Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
As Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Ponders now deals with enrollment, residential and student life, and the counseling center — “most services that are student-related,” he said, but points out that athletics are not in his department.
Ponders admits that his new position is definitely “challenging” with more responsibilities, but adds in that he is having a lot of fun.
But, Ponders feels as though this has been a very smooth transition for all those involved, and he said that it helps to have a “leadership team that’s been together for a number of years.”
It really stabilizes their working environment, he added.
Once a permanent person can be found for all interim positions, everyone involved will most likely go back to their former titles and responsibilities.