President Cullinan Steps Down


Mary Cullinan announces retirement; David May will serve as interim

By Eastern Magazine

Eastern Washington University’s 26th president, Mary Cullinan, announced in early August she was stepping down from her leadership of the university. Cullinan will act as the “special assistant to the president for transition” through mid-September, after which time she will join the EWU faculty as a professor in the Department of English.

Mary Cullinan portrait
Dr. Mary Cullinan

The announcement came during a special public session of the EWU Board of Trustees. During the meeting the trustees named David May, provost and vice president for academic affairs, as interim president.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve this great institution,” Cullinan said. “EWU is truly a remarkable university with exceptional students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters.”

In elevating May, the EWU Board said it was moving to maintain continuity. As provost, May spearheaded the university’s shift to online classes during the pandemic, and has been instrumental in working with faculty on an academic reorganization plan that will reduce Eastern’s seven colleges to four.

We’ll have more coverage of the leadership change, including an in-depth interview with interim President David May, in our next issue.