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WSU executive vice president, chancellor resigns, takes position in New Hampshire

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(The Center Square) – One of Washington State University’s highest-paid employees is moving across the country to take on a new role as president of the University of New Hampshire.

Elizabeth Chilton, WSU provost, executive vice president and Pullman chancellor, will assume her new role as UNH president on July 1. The announcement on Tuesday comes days after the university wrapped up the school year and celebrated graduation.

“Dr. Chilton has shown tremendous leadership and strategic vision across the academic and research enterprise, and her career is a testament to the mission of public higher education,” said Jamie Burnett, the vice-chair of the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees and chair of the presidential search committee, in a UNH announcement.

Last month, WSU announced it would split Chilton’s combined responsibilities and named T. Chris Riley-Tillman the new provost effective July 1; however, the university stated that Chilton would retain her role as chancellor for the Pullman campus.

“Dr. Chilton has left her indelible mark on WSU’s evolution as a statewide system — both as a provost and the inaugural chancellor of the WSU Pullman campus,” said WSU System President Kirk Schulz in the announcement. “I have appreciated her leadership and exhaustive commitment to WSU during the past nearly four years and wish her well.”

Instead, Chilton is replacing UNH’s current president, James W. Dean, who earned $466,000 in 2021, according to the Pioneer Institute, making him New Hampshire’s highest-paid state employee.

In comparison, WSU paid Chilton $460,000 that same year as the university’s lead provost and vice president, and $556,300 in 2022.

“I’ve long admired UNH’s history, vibrant and engaged community, and commitment to student success and scholarship,” Chilton said in the UNH announcement. “I look forward to returning to the Northeast to join the Wildcat family and help UNH serve our students and society in pursuit of a prosperous future.”

According to WSU’s announcement, the institution plans to name a temporary replacement for Chilton in the coming weeks. The interim chancellor, provost and president will help craft the future of the university’s administrative structure during an upcoming organizational review.

Last month, Schulz announced his departure in a plan to retire as university president in June 2025.

Schulz’s announcement followed a press release from late February in which 207 faculty members called on WSU to hire a new president, administration and board of regents, according to Pullman Radio.