The final four EWU presidential candidates are announced

By Randle Kinswa, Managing Editor

In April 2021 the Board of Trustees for EWU officially announced the university’s intentions on searching for the 27th President in the school’s history.

It was reported by university officials that the BOT received around 60 applicants nationwide, from individuals hoping to become EWU’s next president.

Along the way, the Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC), a committee made up of various members of the faculty, administrators, and members of the community, was put to the task of evaluating all the candidates, and providing constructive feedback on how to narrow the field of candidates. 

One of the members of the PSAC, Dr. Kristin Edquist of the Political Science department, said the candidates as a whole were satisfactory.

“I think there’s some good candidates, I definitely do,” said Edquist.

While Edquist’s comments were limited by the PSAC confidentiality agreement, she did say that all EWU presidential applicants would be expected to have ideas on how to deal with COVID-19 and the conflicts it poses for student safety, as well as ideas on how to deal with EWU’s budgetary challenges that predate the pandemic. 

“I encourage students to attend any forum they can with all of the candidates.” -Dr. Kristin Edquist, Political Science

She also further went on to say that many universities that are the same size in enrollment and budget as EWU are posed with similar challenges, so candidates may not be aware of marginal specifics of EWU’s budget, due to the fact that the fundamental issues of EWU’s budgetary problems are not exclusive.

An article written in May of 2021 by the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that the university of Akron, Ohio eliminated six of its 11 colleges on the main campus in Akron. The article further lays out the financial troubles that face regional, public schools like Akron and EWU. Many of these budgetary issues have worsened since the pandemic started. 

The BOT has now narrowed the field from 60 candidates to just the final four, according to Edquist and other university officials. 

The final four candidates will be visiting EWU next week and will be participating in public forums, interviews, and other on-campus activities that will promote the transparency these candidates have with the university, but more importantly with students.

Edquist highly recommends students take this opportunity to make their voice heard when it comes to hiring the next president of the university. 

“I encourage students to attend any forum they can with all of the candidates,” Edquist said. “I highly encourage students to do that … and [students] will get the opportunity to provide input to the [BOT]”


The final four candidates, along with their scheduled visits are listed here:

Monroe Gordan Jr.– Vice Chancellor of the University of California Los Angeles. (Feb. 1)

David May– Interim President of EWU. (Feb. 2)

John Tomkowiak– Founding Dean, Elson S. Floyd school of Medicine of WSU. (Feb. 3)

Shari McMahan– Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for California State University. (Feb. 4)

For a full biography of all the candidates click on this link: Presidential Search 2021-2022 – Eastern Washington University (