August 2019

Welcome to the season of opportunity.

I can’t think of a better way to describe my mindset as we gear up for the academic year that awaits us in just a few short days.

I view the fall as the season of opportunity for good reason. Fall semester brings with it new and renewed hopes throughout the entire University community—at our campuses and locations statewide.

It is the season of opportunity for our new and returning students, who will take the next steps in their journeys toward fulfillment of personal and career aspirations.

It is the season of opportunity for our faculty, who will introduce their students to new knowledge, challenge them to broaden their viewpoints, and invite them to actively engage in the pursuit of evidence-based ideas, a pursuit that has propelled universities forward for centuries.

It is the season of opportunity for our researchers, who will launch new or continue existing research across a multitude of disciplines to improve lives and advance the public good.

It is the season of opportunity for our Extension experts and others on the front lines of serving the public to redouble their efforts to bring the best of WSU to solving the everyday challenges faced by the state’s residents and communities.

It is the season of opportunity for our staff, who will continue to innovate and introduce new and better ways to respond to the needs and priorities of our students, our faculty, our administrators, our University.

It is the season of opportunity for our fall season Pac-12 athletes to once again demonstrate their outstanding athletic abilities while representing WSU and showcasing Cougar pride to tens of thousands.

For the University at large, it is the season of opportunity on multiple fronts.

This fall we will engage the WSU community statewide to create a new strategic plan that will identify the ways the University system as a whole can better serve the public good and the state’s priorities for the next 5 years.

Likewise, this fall we will take the next steps in our far-reaching efforts both to create a more welcoming campus climate system-wide and to hire a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

In similar fashion, during the next few months we will continue implementing Workday software as part of our Modernization Initiative—an effort that promises to greatly streamline our online processes and transform the way we carry out the University’s day-to-day business.

The beginning of the semester also is an appropriate time to reaffirm our commitment to one of WSU’s most enduring legacies and one of our top institutional priorities—namely, that Cougs take care of Cougs. In this season of opportunity, we will look out for each other and keep each other safe as we go about our daily lives. In that vein, and in light of recent events across the country, I encourage you to read the advice from our campus police department about staying safe in the unlikely event of an active-shooter situation.

With hard work, an openness to new ideas, and a shared commitment to support all members of the Cougar community in the weeks and months ahead, we will arrive next May at a season of opportunities fulfilled.

I hope you look forward to the journey as much as I do.

Go Cougs!
Kirk