Goals for this academic year

Greetings from French Administration! Participating in our initial “Drive to 25” town halls the last two weeks has been an enjoyable and informative process—I appreciate the excellent questions and dialogue on WSU issues. And I look forward to talking to many more of you in the next couple of weeks as Provost Bernardo and I complete our visits with each college and campus. I urge you to share your thoughts about the Drive to 25 initiative—all viewpoints are appreciated and welcomed!

Throughout my career, I have always strongly believed in goal setting and thoughtfully planning what I wanted to accomplish each academic year. Philosophically, I don’t ever expect to complete every goal that I identify. But I feel that setting stretch goals for myself helps me to be more focused—not only across the academic year—but also each month, week, and day.

I also believe that it is important for me to write down these goals, check them frequently, and make adjustments as needed. Most important, I want to share these goals broadly with the campus community. The WSU Regents recently approved the following goals for me for this academic year:


  • Put in place an annual financial review process for all WSU units
  • Develop a plan to update and replace antiquated financial software and associated infrastructure
  • Plan and initiate an electronic textbook program at WSU to assist with student affordability


  • Develop and publicize a financial strategy to bring expenses and revenues in balance within 4 fiscal years


  • Receive preliminary accreditation for EFCOM and recruit initial class of 60 medical students
  • Assemble an EFCOM External Advisory Board to assist with philanthropy and influence
  • Raise $20M to assist in startup costs of the EFCOM


  • Conduct a national search to identify a permanent Vice President for Administration and Finance
  • Conduct a national search to identify a permanent Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Conduct a national search to identify a permanent Vice President for Marketing and Communications
  • Put in place an annual goal-setting process and formalized evaluation for all members of the University Council


  • Send monthly update letter to campus community
  • Send monthly update to WSU Regents and more frequent updates as needed
  • Use social media to engage with Washington State faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends
  • Do WSU updates and town hall meetings with each academic unit (college level) and campus each fall semester
  • Reorganize Marketing and Communications across all campuses into a centralized forward-looking unit
  • Visit each campus (Everett, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver) on a quarterly basis


  • Launch WSU 2030 Top 25 Public Research University initiative, including the identification of 10–12 key metrics to measure progress


  • Fully incorporate improved research protocols and campus safety initiatives under the direction of the VPR


  • Finalize plans for expansion of Pullman-Moscow Airport
  • Strengthen connections with the City of Pullman


  • Begin planning for the third comprehensive ($1.5B–$2B) fundraising campaign for Washington State University
  • Raise in excess of $130M for the 2016–17 year
  • Schedule trip through the WSU Alumni Association travel program where Noel and I will “host” a trip abroad to build relationships and promote further engagement in Washington State
  • Develop enhanced relationships with 5 strategic corporate partners


  • Receive additional $60K per student state of Washington commitment for 60 medical students per year
  • Develop relationships with key legislative leaders within the state of Washington
  • Develop relationships with key legislative leaders within the Washington federal delegation
  • Improve relationships between WSU and UW and emphasize areas of cooperation

I am sure that each of you has your own goals and objectives that you would like to accomplish in teaching, research, and service—as well as other personal and professional goals. Regardless of how you plan out your academic year, I look forward to working together to take Washington State University to new heights!