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Washington State University Office of the President

Working together to balance the budget

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As we move deeper into the semester, I hope that you are finding moments to savor the invigorating splendor of the fall colors and our frequent sun-splashed days during this season of transition. The Palouse and the Pullman campus currently offer a stunning kaleidoscope of color, and I know from my recent travels statewide that similar scenes greet our WSU family and friends at all of our campuses.

A week ago, I sent an email describing a few of the actions we are taking to reduce university spending during the current fiscal year. Cutting the budget is not something we take lightly. … » More …

Balancing the budget requires compromise, sacrifice

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

As you know from my communications during the past year, the University has been spending more money than it has brought in over the past four years. This has required us to tap into our fiscal reserves in order to pay our bills. We cannot continue to do this. Quite simply, annual expenses must be balanced against annual revenues.

For our current fiscal year, each unit at WSU has been instructed to reduce its spending by 2.5 percent. Specific dollar amounts have been communicated to all areas. Our goal is to reduce our $30 million annual deficit spending by $10 million in FY2018 … » More …

The goals we will aspire to achieve this year

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Greetings from French Administration! I hope your fall semester is going smoothly as we approach the halfway point next month.

One of my favorite activities of the year is hosting town hall meetings for all of our colleges and campuses. Attendance at the gatherings earlier this month was up at almost all locations, and I appreciate the faculty, staff, and students who attended to learn more about our accomplishments, new initiatives, and the state of the university budget. In my October letter to the community, I will provide some highlights from the meetings and summarize the key questions that were asked … » More …

DACA scholars valued members of the Cougar family

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

This morning the White House announced plans to terminate the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months. Even though Washington State University students are not required to disclose their immigration status, we believe there are several hundred DACA students enrolled at WSU campuses in any given year. These young scholars are valued members of the Cougar family, and we remain committed to supporting their dreams of a WSU education.

The leadership of Washington’s higher education institutions joined me earlier today to forcefully proclaim our support of all of the state’s DACA students. More than 50 presidents … » More …

Safety of Cougar family remains a top priority

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

As many of you know, a student on the Pullman campus was seriously injured recently when he fell out of a window at the Community/Duncan Dunn Residence Hall. Our thoughts remain with our fellow student, his parents, family, and friends as he continues to receive medical care for his injuries.

Since this tragic accident, the University has been conducting a review of window safety in the 17 residence halls on the Pullman campus. A cross-departmental team including representatives from Housing, Dean of Students Office, Facilities Services, Risk Management, and the President’s Office was tasked with developing recommendations to help ensure … » More …

An unwavering commitment: Hate has no place at WSU

Dear WSU Community,

On the same day we welcomed Cougs to their new home in Pullman, we heard and saw the most vile and dehumanizing beliefs and actions of human history surface yet again. I was heartbroken. As a higher education leader, there is no way to reconcile the work that we do with violence and hate.

The senior leadership team at Washington State University is united—we strongly denounce racism and Nazism of any kind and condemn the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hate has no place at WSU. It has no place in the Cougar community.

We also believe in the mission and purpose … » More …

A plan for long-term financial sustainability

Dear Faculty and Staff:

July has come and (almost) gone, which means that the fall semester is nearly upon us! I hope that your summer has been productive and that you are ready to have a great year as we prepare to kick off the new academic cycle.

One of the items on my annual summer to-do list is to try to learn something new. This summer, I decided to learn to fly-fish. I spent two days on the Snake River in Idaho fly-fishing—and I actually caught several fish.

Am I a great fly-fisherman? No. Did I cast into bushes, lose flies, and drop slippery … » More …

Summer means advancing key issues

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Greetings from the East Coast! I write this letter between visits to WSU alumni and friends in the Washington, D.C., and New York City areas. When I travel out of state for these trips I am reminded again that we send our graduates across the nation and beyond—and that regardless of whether these alumni are hundreds or thousands of miles away—they are enthusiastically committed to ensuring the University’s success.

As relatively new Washingtonians, Noel and I are enjoying our opportunities to discover the abundance of outdoor attractions that make the Pacific Northwest a fabulous place to live. In May, we drove … » More …

Time to reflect, and to ramp up Drive to 25

Summer is here! While living in the Palouse or elsewhere in the Evergreen State is certainly enjoyable throughout the entire year, summers provide wonderful opportunities for us to delight in the region’s natural beauty and participate in the outdoor opportunities the season offers us.

During my time as a young faculty member, I worked hard to build a summertime to-do list. Like many of you, my list included proposal and manuscript writing, working with graduate students in my laboratory, professional reading, early fall class preparation, and some family vacation time. Often, my list contained 6 months’ worth of activities that I attempted to fit into … » More …

No place for racism at WSU

Dear WSU Community,

Last night, I was informed about a highly offensive and racist video that was posted online. The video, which incorporated footage from a student demonstration on Terrell Mall on the Pullman campus in November, was intended to cause pain to our community of color at WSU. It directly impacted our students of color studying for final exams.

I have said this before and will repeat it once again. The attitudes, the behavior, and the language expressed in the video are not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to me, our senior leadership, or the greater Cougar community. Individuals with those beliefs are not welcome … » More …

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