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Office of the President

Archive for January, 2011

Jan

31

2011

Great game last night!!

As I told Coach Ken Bone last night, I couldn’t be more proud of our players’ effort last night in bringing home a big win for the Cougs!  What an exciting game and what a great boost the game provides for Mondays like today.  It was even more special having the victory in Pullman in front of screaming students, alums and fans cheering us on to victory.  Now, we head into the second half of the season with the wind at our backs.  Good luck to the men’s basketball team down the stretch as they make a run at the NCAA tournament.  Go Cougs!!!

Jan

24

2011

Claims regarding $144 million in reserves

Here is a copy of a piece I submitted to The Daily Evergreen that will run tomorrow:

As all of you no doubt realize, these are extremely difficult times for our university. In fact, never have we seen times quite as financially perilous as those we face today.

In facing a series of budget cuts – reductions which have, most recently, resulted in the elimination of 30 percent of WSU’s state appropriation in the past 18 months – we as an institution have exercised appropriate stewardship and will continue to do so.

Claiming that the university maintains $144 million in reserves while cutting programs and jobs is disingenuous at best.

The claim regarding the university’s financial reserves is based on financial statements that portray the financial status of the university as of June 30, 2009, which predates the most severe reductions our university has faced. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan

21

2011

Remembering a great friend and Coug

After a long day working on legislative matters, I had to participate in the memorial services for Pat Redmond — a great man and a wonderful Coug.  You see, Pat and his wife Ann were two of the first people to welcome me to WSU when I assumed the presidency.  I have maintained close contact with them and was there with Pat prior to his passing last Saturday.  I will miss him very much.  His huge smile and the thoughtful compassion he possessed will be sorely missed by me, his family, and his countless friends.  We have established a scholarship fund in his honor — the Patrick Redmond Scholarship Fund.

Jan

21

2011

The future of higher education in Everett

There is a lively discussion in the legislature about WSU’s role in Everett, as you may have read in the Everett Herald and other newspapers this morning.  The University Center has been managed by Everett Community College.  WSU has been approached by the City of Everett to assume the lead partnership management role of the University Center.  WSU would be delighted to do so if that is the will of the Everett community.  We are fully committed to preserving the partnerships that currently exist if the legislature endorses this approach.  The reality is, Everett deserves more educational opportunities – frankly, they are long overdue.  I appreciate and applaud Mayor Ray Stephanson’s commitment to bringing this reality home to the citizens of Everett.  He has worked very diligently for some time now to expand the opportunities for the people of Everett.  If this is the direction the state wishes to move in, I look forward to working with him and the Everett community in helping shape the future of higher education in Everett.

Jan

19

2011

Testimony in Olympia

Yesterday I testified in Olympia before the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. Our tech guys have helped me provide a link to it, and I encourage you to view this dialogue and provide any feedback. It is my intent to keep you up to date throughout this legislative session on the blog, as I did throughout the Engagement Tour last spring and summer. I’ll be spending a significant amount of time in Olympia in the coming months; this is a most critical time for our state and the state of higher education. We must continue to advocate for and protect higher education for Washington students.

The purpose of this blog is to help facilitate an open dialogue among current WSU students, staff, and faculty on relevant subjects relating to WSU. All are welcome to view it, but a WSU email address is necessary to register for comments.