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Whitworth Provost & Executive Vice President Caroline Simon to Retire in 2020

May 14, 2019
Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor has announced Whitworth Provost & Executive Vice President Caroline Simon, Ph.D., will retire from her administrative position in July 2020.

Simon began her service at Whitworth in 2013. Since her appointment, 53 regular faculty have been hired, making up 34 percent of Whitworth’s regular permanent faculty. During her tenure so far, more than $5.2 million in funding has been secured for Whitworth in research grants within the academic area.

Many new academic programs have been created during Simon’s first six years as provost and executive vice president, including Whitworth’s B.S. in engineering, M.S. in athletic training and M.A. in applied behavior analysis. She has also been instrumental in the planning and first steps for Whitworth’s anticipated clinical doctoral programs in the health sciences.

“Dr. Simon’s service to Whitworth has been exemplary,” President Taylor says. “First, her commitment to Whitworth’s Christian liberal arts identity has been front and center as she’s strengthened existing programs, led the development of new programs, and encouraged the university community to think in fresh ways about how a Whitworth education can remain relevant and valuable. Second, her leadership has always sought to include diverse voices to inform how our academic programs can serve all students well, and to create the most inclusive spaces possible for teaching, learning and discovery. Finally, Dr. Simon has been a trusted friend and colleague, and her presence on the President’s Cabinet has shaped decision-making in ways that have strengthened Whitworth’s commitment to mind-and-heart education. I am grateful that Carol will have one more year to continue these important efforts.”

Beyond Whitworth, Simon has exerted national influence as a frequent presenter at the Council of Independent Colleges’ national meetings for chief academic officers and its summer workshops for department chairs and deans. She currently serves on the national board of directors of the Lilly Network for Humanities and the Arts. Her most recent publication, “Can Two Walk Together Unless They Be Agreed? Traditions, Vocations, and Christian Universities in the Twenty-First Century,” appeared in a 2018 issue of The Cresset.

Other accomplishments at Whitworth during Simon’s first six years as provost include:

  • Planning for Whitworth’s new Shared Curriculum to be launched in fall 2020. The new curriculum will strengthen all undergraduate students’ foundation in the Christian liberal arts and cross-cultural  understanding, multiply opportunities for faculty curricular creativity, and bring both clarity and  focus to shared student learning outcomes.
  • The university’s accreditation being reaffirmed by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and  Universities.
  • Accreditation for Whitworth’s graduate programs in athletic training and marriage & family   therapy, as well as the music department’s accreditation being reaffirmed by the National   Association of Schools of Music.
  • Creating new and expanded partnerships between the university and Montessori Northwest and Association Montessori Internationale to offer degree programs conjoined with Montessori  certification.
  • Improving resources for scholarship through interlibrary loan by joining Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of the best university research libraries in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Establishing an arrangement with the Smithsonian Institute that led to the inauguration of the  Honors Smithsonian Internship Semester in Washington, D.C.

The search for Simon’s replacement will begin immediately.

“In the coming days and weeks, I will be working with faculty, staff and students to ensure that a representative search committee is formed that will begin its work in September to identify candidates to serve in the role of provost and executive vice president,” President Taylor says. “I am confident that many qualified individuals from across the landscape of higher education will be interested in this position, and I anticipate naming Dr. Simon’s successor by the April 2020 meeting of the university’s board of trustees.”

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or