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Washington State University
Office of the President June 2020

In-person commencement canceled

It is with much sadness and regret that we write to let you know we have decided to cancel the in‑person commencement ceremonies scheduled at all of our campuses later this summer.

This is not a choice that any of us wanted to make. It was a decision not easily made nor quickly reached. But in consideration of the state’s COVID‑19 guidelines for resuming group activities and our own abundance of caution in protecting the health and safety of the entire Cougar community, we feel it is the right decision.

Please join us in once again congratulating our 2020 spring semester graduates. They displayed … » More …

Supreme Court ruling affirms DACA policy

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Yesterday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a tremendous victory for many students at WSU, as well as students and their families throughout the State of Washington and the nation.

The Supreme Court’s decision blocked the dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which would have affected an estimated 700,000 young adults across the country. Considering the events of the past few months, we welcome the Court’s decision in support of DACA students, especially for those undocumented students in our Cougar community.

Additionally, we reaffirm our commitment to creating an environment that fully encourages and embraces the educational and life aspirations … » More …

Next steps in reducing our budget

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As we continue to work together as a community to address all of the challenges presented by COVID‑19 and simultaneously fulfill our mission to the people of the state, I want to update you about the process we have kicked off to address one of our most critical issues—the University’s budget for the 2020–21 fiscal year.

As you know, in May I announced that all units across the system would be asked to prepare plans reducing their budgets by 10% to meet the steep declines in state revenues due to the pandemic. At the same time, I shared 4 guiding principles» More …

Plans for fall continue to take shape

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

As we continue working together across the WSU system on the details of a plan to resume in‑person operations at all of our locations for the fall semester, I want to update you about some of the key decisions we have made as well as some of the issues we continue to examine.

First and foremost, I want to reiterate that protecting the health and safety of our Cougar family is of paramount concern. All decisions affecting the fall semester are being scrutinized from a safety perspective.

As part of our planning process, we are heeding the advice of health experts. … » More …

Recent tragedies a call for self examination

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Racism looms over our nation’s soul.

Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Three on a seemingly endless list of African American fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, loved ones, and family members, all of whom were killed because they were black.

Each a recent and stark reminder and memorial of the ugliness of historic, systemic inequality.

Each a victim of our country’s severe racial and class disparities.

The COVID‑19 pandemic has laid bare the truth about the unequal access to health care that people of color—specifically African Americans—face. This fact only compounds the current outrage.

We are still so far from achieving … » More …