WSU Names Terese King, Michael Highfill to New Provostial Administrative Posts

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President has filled two new interim vice provost positions with experienced program directors and alumni Terese King and Michael Highfill.

“These appointments support the evolving role and responsibilities of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) at the university,” said William B. Davis, DAESA interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “The new roles also recognize the incredible contributions these two have made to WSU undergraduate education over the course of their careers.

“We appreciate the vision and leadership they will bring to their new roles and look forward to the many valuable contributions they will make.”

Davis assumed his position effective July 1, following the retirement announcement of long-time Vice Provost Mary F. Wack, who led DAESA since 2006. King and Highfill join the DAESA leadership team that also includes Assistant Vice Provost Mary Sanchez Lanier, who has been in that role for over a decade.

King’s Additional Duties

As interim assistant vice provost, Terese King will also be responsible for university classrooms, Faculty Senate relations, information technology, Executive Policy and Procedures Manual, enrollment and transfer policy, and state transfer articulation.

King (’15 Ph.D. Higher Education; ’92 MA Education/Counseling Psychology) has led the university’s multi-faceted Academic Success and Career Center since 2013 and is also executive director university-wide academic advising efforts. In addition to supervisory responsibilities, she engages with regional and national professional organizations, and provides WSU administration with information and strategy on matters relating to advising and related policies, student success initiatives, and student graduation and placement. In addition to her current duties, her assistant vice provost role adds these responsibilities among others:

  • Serving the Provost’s interests in undergraduate academic policies and processes through updating WSU’s Educational Policy and Procedure Manual
  • Representing DAESA to the WSU Faculty Senate and continuing her membership on the Academic Affairs subcommittee
  • Overseeing the WSU Transfer Center for Policy and Resources directed by Waylon Safranski, and leading enrollment and transfer policies
  • Serving on several academic committees, such as the university’s classroom/space-planning committee, UNIV curriculum oversight committee, and university requirements petition committee.

King began her WSU career in 1989, and has since served as a residence hall director, assistant director of orientation-facilities, associate director and later director of New Student Programs, director of Parent Orientation, and advisor to the Associated Students of WSU (ASWSU) undergraduate student body organization, and she has advised and taught students. She is and has been a member of several university, community, and professional committees. A native of Wisconsin, she earned her B.S. in education with a major in music from Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisc. She lives in Pullman with her husband Doug, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and long-time employee at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, and daughters Halle and Hannah, who graduated as valedictorian at Pullman High School and will soon be a freshman at the University of Washington.

Highfill’s additional duties

As interim assistant vice provost, Michael Highfill will also be responsible for fundraising, financial aid relations, research groups, accreditation relations, legislative affairs, and assessment of core curriculum.

Highfill has led student success initiatives in the provost’s office since 2014, and became executive director of DAESA’s Office of Academic Engagement in 2019. He heads its administration, programming, and strategic planning, and leads policy decisions including those involving student success strategy and program implementation. In addition to his current duties, he will, as an assistant vice provost, add these responsibilities among others:

  • Represent WSU to the accrediting body of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Represent DAESA and undergraduate education initiatives to WSU legislative affairs, financial aid, research groups, and accreditation relations
  • Manage UNIV course-designation opportunities and assessment of core curriculum
  • Lead DAESA fundraising efforts

He has worked at WSU as a project specialist on research and proposal development for student success, and directed Student Success Initiatives. He was project director for Bridge Idaho in the University of Idaho’s College of Education, and was a curriculum development specialist for NASA ISGC. He earned his M.A. in history at UI, two B.A. degrees in liberal studies and history at the University of Montana-Missoula, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in political science/public administration. He has been principal investigator on several funded major initiatives totaling more than $25 million in external awards. He lives in Moscow, Idaho, with his wife Becky, director of the Center for Learning and Innovation at Pullman Regional Hospital, and children Michael, a WSU senior, and Megan and Caitlin, students in Moscow.

Media contacts:

William B. Davis, WSU Interim Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, 509-335-4930,

Terese King, WSU Interim Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, 509-335-6000,

Michael Highfill, WSU Interim Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, 509-335-9851,

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