Getting To Know Shari McMahan


Emily Powers

“Being at a university is about continuous improvement… The only way to do that is through feedback.”

By Isaiah Gessner, Managing Editor

Shari McMahan was selected by the Board of Trustees at Eastern Washington University to become the university’s 27th president in February of this year. McMahan spent her last 6 years at California State University and hoped to implement an era of student focus and engagement at EWU.

“I am a student-centered president. I go about doing my business and think about how it impacts the students,”  said McMahan. McMahon recently held a Zumba class on October 13th for students and anyone else to attend along with a list of other events for homecoming week. 

McMahan encourages students to bring in any other ideas as to what they’d like to see in the future by reaching out to her. The Zumba class is just one small event aimed at finding ways to get students more involved with the university moving forward. 

When discussing her favorite moment at EWU, McMahan recalled a story from going with the EWU football team to Gainsville Florida to take on the Gators in early October of this year. “I was looking around the airport at around 11:30 p.m. and saw that every football player had their laptop open and was doing homework” 

President McMahan supporting the student games and attending activities. (Emily Powers)

McMahan recognizes the importance of making sure that students not only want to attend EWU but that they prioritize getting people to graduate from the university as well. “The most immediate changes involve enrollment and student strategies to make sure that students stay in school.” This has been the main focus of McMahan in her brief time with EWU as enrollment has been a struggle for the university due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McMahan ended her interview by reiterating that she is always interested in hearing about ideas from students. “Being at a university is about continuous improvement… The only way to do that is through feedback.” You can find president McMahan walking around the PUB, attending games, and walking around campus.