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Washington State University
Office of the President October 2018

A fascinating conversation with a Halloween visitor

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Happy Halloween! One of the joys of serving as WSU’s president is that I continually meet interesting and intriguing people. Occasionally, unusual conversations take place. Just last night, I was standing in the backyard of the president’s house playing with our corgis, Cayenne and Joule, when a huge, floating pumpkin drifted into the backyard. This is the conversation that ensued.

KHS: Good evening. My name is Kirk Schulz, and I am president of WSU. Not to be rude, but what are you doing in my backyard?

Pumpkin: I am the Great Pumpkin! I am looking for Linus, and I … » More …

Condolences and support for our Jewish community

Dear Cougar Community:

Please join me in expressing heartfelt condolences and unshakable support for our Jewish brothers and sisters—across the nation and in our local communities—in the wake of the horrific shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

The violent hate that has torn apart the lives of countless Americans from Pennsylvania to California in recent years is a tragic aberration. It is not who we are in this country. For nearly 250 years, the United States has stood for tolerance, freedom, and compassion.

Terrorists can shatter our lives, but they cannot touch our core beliefs. Despite our imperfections, we are a people of humanity … » More …

Respectful dialogue essential to pursuit of truth

Dear Cougar Community:

The free exchange of ideas is a cornerstone of American democracy. It is also central to our academic mission—the creation and dissemination of new knowledge. Sometimes, new ideas can lead to conflict. With the 2018 midterm elections just around the corner, we will be exposed to opinions and beliefs that run counter to our own. In a democratic society, respectful disagreement in pursuit of truth is essential.

Free expression is more powerful when we consider the perspectives of the people with whom we are communicating and when we approach discussion and debate with a spirit of curiosity, humility, generosity, and care. Observation, … » More …