EWU Selects New Vice President for Student Affairs

Lea Jarnagin brings more than 30 years of higher education experience

June 7, 2023 By David Meany

Eastern Washington University President Shari McMahan has announced that Lea Jarnagin, PhD, has been selected to serve as the next vice president for student affairs at EWU. She has served in numerous roles in student affairs, including vice president of student affairs at Cal Poly Pomona and associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students at CSU Fullerton. Jarnagin also served as the CSU system-wide director for student wellness and basic needs initiatives.

“Dr. Jarnagin brings more than 30 years of experience and expertise in higher education to the institution,” says McMahan. “I am confident that her leadership will enhance the students’ experience.”

Dr. Lea Jarnagin

Jarnagin has experience working as a consultant for higher education institutions as well as serving as an adjunct faculty member at Azusa Pacific University. She is actively engaged in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and serves on the NASPA Foundation Board. Additionally, she has presented at numerous conferences and has been recognized with various awards and honors for her contributions to the profession.

“Lea Jarnagin’s background in student affairs and dedication to student success is well aligned with our mission and vision as an institution,” notes McMahan.

The president also expressed her gratitude for Dr. Rob Sauders’ leadership as current vice president. Dr. Sauders was a valuable member of the university’s executive leadership team, and his dedication and resilience were evident as he worked tirelessly to ensure our students had the support they needed to be successful. McMahan also thanked members of the search committee for their work through the entire process: Barb Richey (chair), Maria Reyna, David Millet, Erik Budsberg, Tricia Hughes, Jana Jaraysi, Stacey Reece, Martin Garcia, and Lucas Fyre (ASEWU), as well as everyone who attended the forums and provided feedback.

Jarnagin begins her appointment on August 7. Sam Armstrong Ash, PhD, will serve as interim vice president for student affairs from July 1-August 6.