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Washington State University

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Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D - 12/4/08

Recognizing WSU Employees

Next week, our university will hold an event that I think takes on an added importance this year -- the Employee Recognition Reception.

At 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Compton Union Building Senior Ballroom, we will recognize the contributions of nearly 600 faculty and staff members who have passed significant service milestones during 2008.

This is the fourth annual event. It was started by President V. Lane Rawlins who believed that it was important to set aside a time to recognize the people who make this university work. And I couldn’t agree with Lane more.

You often read that the concept of lifetime employment is becoming a thing of the past, that today’s workers are far more likely to change employers and professions than their parents and grandparents were. Perhaps that is true. But when I talk with the women and men who have worked at Washington State University for  20, 30, 40, even 50 years, I am impressed both by their dedication to the university and by their ability to adapt to a changing workplace.

A university is a dynamic institution. An employee who can measure his or her tenure in decades has lived through a host of changes. People who thrive in this environment have shown the ability to adapt, to learn new skills, and to move forward in good times and in difficult ones.

We are living in a time of economic uncertainty. I know that the past year of hiring slowdowns and budget reductions has been a difficult one for our employees. I understand the anxiety of reading news reports about the possibility of further budget cuts.

At the same time, those long-time colleagues can testify that our university has been through hard times before. In no small part because of their efforts, WSU has come through those times and reached its current status as a premier land-grant research university.

The quality of this university is a direct result of the quality of the people who get up every day and come to work here. We salute them for their service and their perseverance on a day set aside for that purpose. But I am grateful for their contributions every day.