Gonzales Retires as WSU Vice President of Student Affairs |

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

Mary Jo Gonzales, who took office in 2017, led 22 departments and more than 500 employees in the student affairs division on the Pullman campus. She had been on leave since September 1, according to a press release issued by the university on Wednesday.

“I want 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 endeavours.”

Two days after Gonzales was furloughed, Schulz named Ellen Taylor acting vice president of student affairs. Taylor previously served as 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 issues.

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

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

Palermo can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @apalermotweets.

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