Gonzales Retires as WSU Vice President of Student Affairs | Local

Washington State University’s vice president of student affairs will retire Nov. 15 after being laid off nearly two months ago.

Mary Jo Gonzales, who started in this role in 2017, has headed 22 departments and over 500 staff in the student affairs division on the Pullman campus. She had been on leave since September 1, according to a press release from the university on Wednesday.

“I would like to thank Dr. Gonzales for his service to our Cougar community,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said in the statement. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors. “

Two days after Gonzales was put on leave, Schulz appointed Ellen Taylor as interim vice president for student affairs. Taylor was previously WSU’s senior associate vice president for student engagement in the student affairs division.

Phil Weiler, vice president of marketing and communications at WSU, declined to answer questions about why Gonzales is retiring or why she was on leave. According to Weiler, the university does not comment on specific personnel matters.

Weiler said his retirement had nothing to do with the state’s mandate on the COVID-19 vaccine, which went into effect on October 18.

Gonzales is a first-generation alumnus known for her campus advocacy, which has helped secure external funding for La Bienvenida, a Spanish-language orientation program for prospective students and their families, among other resources.

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