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Whitworth president announces new leadership appointments, organizational changes

August 23, 2010

Michael Le Roy

With the first students beginning to return to campus, Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor announced today the appointment of two administrators to new leadership roles and the creation of a University Council that, together, he says, will provide Whitworth with the "focus, energy, and competencies to ensure great progress."

Taylor named Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Le Roy as executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, and Director of Communications Greg Orwig as chief of staff in the Office of the President. The appointments are effective Sept. 1.

"With the beginning of the academic year approaching, and with the completion of my first two months on campus, I have initiated some changes that come as a direct result of my rich interactions with departments throughout the university and with many external constituents," Taylor says. "These changes do not portend more dramatic or comprehensive personnel moves. Rather, they represent initial actions on my part to solidify certain aspects of the university and its leadership in key areas."

Le Roy has served as Whitworth's chief academic officer for five years and has overseen expanded support for faculty scholarship, creation of new off-campus centers in downtown Spokane and in Costa Rica, and significant investment in the sciences, including a $32 million biology/chemistry building currently under construction. Taylor says Le Roy's promotion to executive vice president clarifies lines of authority in times of crisis and emphasizes the importance of academics at Whitworth.

Greg Orwig

"Most importantly, this promotion acknowledges in a very visible way Michael's superb leadership for the past five years as our academic leader and signals my trust and confidence in his leadership," Taylor says.

As chief of staff in the president's office, Orwig will provide counsel to Taylor and the University Council in shaping and executing Whitworth's strategic plan, serve to prioritize tasks and external events, and handle all formal communications from the president's office. In his 11 years as director of university communications, Orwig helped establish new visual brands for the university and athletics program, led Whitworth's integrated marketing initiatives, and expanded media relations and public relations efforts.

"I am confident that Greg will bring much in the form of institutional knowledge, wisdom, and energy to my office and to the Cabinet," Taylor says. "He will be a thought partner and important colleague for me on a daily basis."

The University Council, under the leadership of the president's office, will oversee strategic planning at Whitworth. Composed of senior administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders, the University Council will provide definition and strategic leadership to the university's highest priorities. Primary responsibilities include crafting Whitworth's next five-year strategic plan and monitoring progress against key performance indicators identified in the plan.

"I am excited about this new group and the work we will accomplish together," Taylor says. "Through its stewardship of the university's strategic plan, the University Council will provide needed creativity, accountability, and timely execution as the university articulates its vision for the future."

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,900 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Beck A. Taylor, President, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3200 or

Greg Orwig, Director of University Communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or