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Washington State University
Office of the President January 2021

Working toward an in-person WSU experience

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Navigating the challenges of COVID‑19 together as a Cougar community has taught us much about the resiliency of the human spirit. We have sacrificed individually and collectively while simultaneously adapting to a redefined world, a world requiring new pathways to pursue our goals and hopes and dreams. Your own courage and grit have humbled and inspired us.

Knowing these sacrifices makes today’s announcement even more special: while details remain to be finalized, we are planning for a robust in‑person student experience both inside and outside the classroom for fall 2021 and beyond. While each of our campus locations around the state … » More …

Signs of hope surround us

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

There’s no doubt our lives have been upended to varying degrees during the past 10 months. COVID‑19. Racial injustice. A roller-coaster economy. Political upheaval and related violence. Diminishing availability of vital health and social services. Devastating natural disasters from coast to coast.

In such a gloomy environment, it’s easy to lose sight of reasons for hope. Yet, as we begin a new semester, hopeful signs surround us.

Effective vaccines for COVID‑19 were developed with unprecedented speed. Though the initial distribution of the vaccines was slower than anticipated, the pace is expected to increase dramatically in the coming weeks.

Despite unprecedented challenges to … » More …

MLK’s call for action more urgent than ever

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Monday’s annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life should be a soul-stirring call to deeply examine, reflect on, and—most importantly—act to change systemic injustices that have long tarnished widely espoused American ideals about freedom, equality, and opportunity for all.

The evidence driving this need for self‑examination is undeniably and painfully visible. Indeed, current events cry out to us for urgent action, demanding that we attend to racial injustice and that we rediscover and rebuild our common humanity.

The high visibility, race‑based violence of the past year that roiled the country has provided stark reminders of our collective failures and shortcomings … » More …

D.C. violence: time to say enough is enough

Shocking. Heartbreaking. An unprecedented threat to American democratic ideals that we have cherished for nearly 250 years.

Those are just a few of the thoughts that immediately came to mind as destruction and violence unfolded this afternoon in Washington, D.C., when Congress convened to certify the Electoral College results from the U.S. presidential election.

Free speech—including the right to protest—is a bedrock principle of the U.S. Constitution. We can—and should—debate and disagree on policies and about our country’s direction.

But when free speech leads to an ideology of white supremacy, destruction, injury, death, and anarchy that tears the fabric of an election process central to … » More …