By Bev Makhani, Office of Undergraduate Education

Washington State University has selected long‑time employee and alumna Terese A. King to be the institution’s first executive director of university advising.

King also directs the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC), a position she has held since 2012. ASCC is a department of WSU Undergraduate Education, which is part of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

“Dr. King brings a wealth of experience and a unique skillset to the new position,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education. “She will guide WSU systemwide advising initiatives, be the central advising resource and liaison for college, campus and program administrators, and communicate on official matters with the hundreds of academic advisors universitywide.”

“I am deeply honored to serve in this new role. I am passionate about programs that benefit students, their families, advisors and WSU,” King said.

“Top quality advising and mentoring is widely recognized as a key to achieving student satisfaction and retaining them at the institution. Retention and student success are top priorities for me. We will continue to build an environment in which students can thrive academically from the day they enter WSU through to graduation.”

“Because advisors work so closely with students and are vital to their success, it’s imperative that we continue to develop and provide training and professional development opportunities that prepare advisors for this important role.”

Advising momentum

Wack noted that establishment of the executive director of university advising position underscores the university’s commitment to provide a transformative student experience. That goal is called for in WSU’s most recent strategic plan; it is also identified as a key outcome of WSU’s Drive‑to‑25 effort to be among the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030.

In recognition of its importance, academic advising has been in the WSU spotlight for more than decade, its emphasis evolving in line with WSU goals, assessments and reaccreditation efforts. There has been a focus, for example, on developing a path of professional growth opportunities for advisors, standardizing systemwide practices, formalizing policies and procedures, and implementing assessment measures.

WSU ACADA was formed as a local professional organization. The updated advising website puts a wealth of information at advisors’ fingertips. Provost and Executive Vice President Daniel J. Bernardo also declared 2016 as the Year of the Advisor, which included several activities and initiatives in support of advisors.

King has been very involved throughout. Most recently, in her role as chair of the University Academic Advising Executive Council, she recommended the adoption of the new advising policy that affects Pullman undergraduates. Students meeting specific criteria can register for classes without having to meet first with their advisor. The new policy benefits students as well as their advisors, who could have more time freed up to work with students on topics such as career development and internships, said Wack.

Extensive WSU experience

“Over her 30‑year career at WSU, King has become a universally respected innovator and leader. She has been responsible for several key programs and has extensive experience involving student success initiatives and academic advising,” said Wack.

King earned a B.S. in education with a music major at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. At WSU she earned her master’s degree in education/counseling psychology, and her doctorate in higher education.

At WSU, she has been a residence hall director, directed New Student Programs and orientation programming for students and parents, and initiated programs to serve bilingual students and families. She serves on numerous WSU committees as well as industry committees within the state and region, and has built a nationwide professional network. She also has taught several courses, serves on the Drive‑to‑25 graduate placement committee, and has been an academic advisor herself from spring 1992 to the present day.

“It’s important to stay current and involved with what’s going on,” King said. “We are always learning and evolving.”

King lives in Pullman with husband Doug, WSU alumnus and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories employee, and daughters Hannah and Halle, students at Pullman High School and Lincoln Middle School, respectively.