Dear WSU Community,
On the same day we welcomed Cougs to their new home in Pullman, we heard and saw the most vile and dehumanizing beliefs and actions of human history surface yet again. I was heartbroken. As a higher education leader, there is no way to reconcile the work that we do with violence and hate.
The senior leadership team at Washington State University is united—we strongly denounce racism and Nazism of any kind and condemn the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hate has no place at WSU. It has no place in the Cougar community.
We also believe in the mission and purpose of higher education. As vile and offensive as we find certain speech and individuals who hold those beliefs, we are committed to wrestling with, challenging, and combating racism and anti-Semitism to become the community WSU must be. It is not just about our campuses and our #GoCougs community—it is about our nation’s future.
WSU is a microcosm of what is happening throughout our nation. Our work begins at home. We will continue our initiative announced last spring to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus culture and climate at our campuses system-wide.
We have begun the search for our new associate vice president of community, equity, and inclusive excellence, naming a search committee and setting a hiring timeline. We are building campus-wide committees to address concerns that have been brought to our attention. Students have been working on peer-based curriculum on equity and inclusion. We are working with our student leaders to bring this training to fruition.
In a society that often divides us, we will not shy away from difficult conversations or criticism. We will not waver in our commitment. We are going to do the work that is required. We invite you to join us.
Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University