Ruth Johnston departing for New Mexico

ruth johnston

Ruth A. Johnston, who has been vice chancellor for UW Bothell Planning & Administration (VCPA) since fall 2016 and who has served the UW since 1980, is departing to take a position in New Mexico.

Leaving this summer, Johnston will start in the fall as chief strategic financial officer for the New Mexico State University system, reporting to Chancellor Dan Arvizu. The NMSU system includes a university, four community colleges and 33 centers.

“While I am thrilled at this new opportunity, it will be difficult to leave UW Bothell and UW behind after 39 years,” Johnston said. “UW Bothell is a particularly special place that I grew to love for the values and culture embodied in the faculty, students and staff.”

Of her 39 years at the University of Washington, the last three years at UW Bothell have perhaps been the most impactful, said Chancellor Wolf Yeigh.

“She leaves her legacy on systems and processes for our budget, facilities and human resources. While we’re so saddened by her departure, we’re excited for her in this new opportunity at the New Mexico State University system,” said Yeigh, who added he is working on plans for an interim VCPA and a search process.

As VCPA, Johnston provided leadership for units that included administration, financial planning and accounting, facilities, space planning, governmental and community relations, information technology and human resources.

Johnston began her work at UW in 1980 as a resident director in housing and food services then moved to continuing education, human resources, financial management and facilities. Before UW Bothell, she served as UW associate vice president and chief of staff for planning and management.

Johnston is active in higher education associations that include the Western Association of College & University Business Officers, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the Institute for Student Services Professionals.

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