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Scott McQuilkin named Whitworth University president

McQuilkin will be officially introduced as Whitworth University's new president on Friday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. in Cowles Auditorium.
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Whitworth University

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Whitworth University Board of Trustees announced the appointment of interim president Scott McQuilkin as the new Whitworth University president.

McQuilkin has served as Whitworth's interim president since June 1, 2021, after former president Beck Taylor's left the position to work at Samford University.

McQuilkin attended Whitworth where he earned his undergraduate and master's degree in education. He earned his Ph.D. in exercise and sport science from The Pennsylvania State University. 

He has served Whitworth University in various coaching and administrative roles, such as tenured professor and chair of the kinesiology department,  head baseball coach and athletic director for 14 years. 

During his role as director, Whitworth Athletics won numerous conference championships including winning three times the coveted McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophy for three times  – which recognizes the Northwest Conference's best overall intercollegiate athletics program.

Whitworth Board of Trustees Chair Brian Kirkpatrick said McQuilkin has dedicated his entire career to Whitworth University and has been an exceptional and visionary leader in every capacity.

"When Scott was named interim president, both he and the board officers agreed that he should not be an applicant for the permanent position. Scott stated that his candidacy would very likely deter some high-quality candidates from applying," Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick said that McQuilkin was never a candidate for Whitworth's president position, and he remained outside the hiring process throughout the duration of the search.

"Although this was disappointing for many in the community, the process was undertaken with consideration of over 60 applicants," Kirkpatrick said. "When our exhaustive search concluded without a presidential appointment, the board then approached Scott, asking him to consider a permanent appointment.

After many in-depth and thoughtful discussions, McQuilkin enthusiastically agreed to be considered by the board for the presidency, Kirkpatrick said.

McQuilkin will be officially introduced as Whitworth's 19th president on Friday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. in Cowles Auditorium. The event is limited to students and employees, but community members can virtually attend by joining the Zoom  Livestream.