After about eight weeks on the job, Tim Wright, Centralia College’s new dean of arts and sciences, says he’s just beginning to get his feet wet, in all senses of the expression.
As a new dean, he’s been busy on campus meeting staff, faculty and students and getting to know the ins and outs of the college.
As an avid kayaker, he’s been exploring local waterways with enthusiasm.
“What I really like about Centralia College is that it feels like the center of the community,” he said in a news release from the college. “Almost everyone I encounter says, ‘Oh, I went there’ or ‘My kids go there.’ I think that’s really important to have at a community college.”
Wright came to Centralia College from northern California, where he served at Sierra College as the associate dean in liberal arts, overseeing the visual and performing arts programs.
Before that, he was the acting dean and executive dean of business, communication studies and social sciences at Shoreline Community College since 2018.
At Shoreline, he oversaw a number of programs, including criminal justice, sociology, early childhood education, history, world languages, the library and the Honors College, according to the news release.
After a number of years working as a newspaper reporter and editor, Wright worked in the insurance industry before starting his community college career in 2007 teaching history and multicultural studies.
Over the course of 11 years, he taught a variety of classes, including Pacific Northwest and Native American history.
He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Humboldt State University, a master’s degree in history from California State University, Sacramento, and he has completed doctoral coursework at the University of Washington.
“My biggest goal for my first year is getting to know the campus faculty, staff and students,” he said. “I think the most important function of a dean is to work with faculty and staff to make students successful.”