Celebrating excellence as the semester heads for the homestretch

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Spring has arrived at last. And while we still have traces of snow across the Palouse, signs of spring are popping up daily—here and at all of our campuses. I encourage you to take a few minutes for a leisurely stroll wherever you are located to take in the sights and smells of the season. I look forward to the increasing hours of daylight and sunshine that await us in the months to come.

When I was growing up I enjoyed riddle and joke books. This was a particular favorite from Bennett Cerf’s Book of Riddles:

Q:  Why did the boy throw the clock out the window?
A:  Because he wanted to see time fly!

Time flying describes how I feel about the speed at which the academic year has unfolded. We are now just 6 weeks away from spring commencement. Post spring break, the University community begins celebrating the end of the school year with a multitude of activities to recognize the outstanding achievements of our faculty, staff, and students.  I encourage everyone to participate in as many of these pre-graduation festivities as possible.

The last week of March is a special time at WSU as we celebrate the system-wide excellence of our faculty, staff, and students during the annual Showcase activities. I will help kick off Showcase this year by presenting the 2018 State of the University address on March 27 at 3:10 p.m. in Bryan Hall Auditorium. My remarks will focus on the accomplishments of our entire community during the past year, and I will point out how those successes advance the Drive to 25.

I hope you will be able to attend the address. If you are unable to attend in person, the address will be livestreamed. I also plan to summarize the highlights of the presentation in my April letter to campus.

I also want to call your attention to the biennial WSU Employee Engagement Survey, which will be conducted April 3–13.

From my standpoint, the importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated. To succeed in our initiative to become one of the top 25 public research universities in the country, we must create a great workplace culture. Each employee must feel valued, and motivated, to contribute to advancing the University’s goals and values.

In that vein, our survey is a vital tool for gathering insights about employee engagement and satisfaction in the workplace. If your workplace environment is exceptional, we need to know that. If it is falling short in certain areas, we need to know that too.

So I encourage you to take a few minutes to share your insights by completing the survey. We will publish a summary of the feedback provided, and we will ensure that concrete action plans are developed by unit level leaders to address the issues and concerns identified.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey, and thanks for all that you do on behalf of the University.

Good luck to all as we wrap up this academic year. I look forward to seeing many of you next week as we celebrate our exceptional faculty, staff, and student achievements during Showcase.

Go Cougs!