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First EWU presidential finalist visits campuses

Screenshot from virtual EWU Cheney campus forum

Monroe Gorden, Jr. is a vice chancellor at UCLA.

The first of four finalists for Eastern Washington University’s presidency was presented to the public during a series of events Tuesday.

Monroe Gorden, Junior is the vice chancellor of student affairs at UCLA. He met with a variety of groups on Eastern’s Cheney and Spokane campuses, including the board of trustees and faculty. He also answered questions at three forums that were open to the public.

Gorden began his career as a lawyer in Southern California. He said he was successful but decided to switch careers.

“It wasn’t where I needed to be. It wasn’t where I was supposed to be," he said. "And despite the success in those arenas, there was always something missing. There was always something more that I wanted and it really was to help.”

He began at UCLA in 2006 as its chief administrative and financial officer. Now, as a vice chancellor, he’s responsible for overseeing student affairs.

He says one of his best attributes is as someone who brings people together to solve problems.

“Shared governance means that we all come to the table. It means that we are all interested in working together. But it also means that we’ve got to convince each other that the pathway and the direction is the right way to go," he said.

Gorden is the first of four candidates to visit Eastern’s campuses this week. On Wednesday the spotlight will be on David May, who has served as Eastern’s interim president since August 2020, after the death of former president Mary Cullinan.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.