Office of the President Letters to Campus

Setting a target for WSU’s future

Greetings from French Administration! I hope that everyone is having a great summer and that you have fun plans for the Fourth of July holiday.

June has been a productive month for Washington State, highlighted of course by Provost Dan Bernardo’s “bee beard” at a recent fundraiser for the WSU Honey Bee and Pollinator Research Center. This is an excellent example of WSU’s land-grant mission to provide service through practical research and education. Bees are key to healthy food systems and WSU’s research is helping sustain Washington food and agriculture, a $35 billion industry. If you haven’t seen the article and pictures about the bees, … » More …

A few thoughts about recent discussions

Summer is finally upon us! I trust everyone had a successful end to the spring semester, and that your summer personal and professional activities are well under way. My normal “to-do” list for this summer is pretty extensive—but mostly it revolves around successfully moving our household from Manhattan to Pullman!

The past month has been a busy one, and I have a few updates that I want to share with the Washington State University community. I want to focus on four major areas in this letter: WSU budget, expansion of the Pullman/Moscow Airport, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and the spring WSU Foundation … » More …

Course Material Cost Reduction Task Force issues report

In collaboration with the Associated Students of Washington State University, I recently convened a task force to explore the issue of rising costs of course materials, along with potential solutions and alternatives. The task force has submitted its final report to me, and I strongly endorse its recommendations.

Washington State University is committed to addressing the rising cost of higher education. Financial hardship is the number one reason students do not persist to earn their degrees. Unfortunately, increased tuition costs have coincided with higher costs for textbooks and other course materials. In fact, textbook costs have risen 1,000 percent—three times the cost of living—between … » More …

Be safe and stay safe this summer

Dear University community,

As we come to the end of another academic year, I wish all Cougs a safe summer. Our students, faculty, staff, and visitors are the University’s chief and most precious assets. Concerns for your safety extend not only to when you are on campus, but also to your journey home and to other destinations as you participate in summer activities.

In late February, I personally recommitted to making safety one of our highest institutional priorities. We are working harder than ever to prevent accidents and incidents, integrate health and safety … » More …

Thanks—and some initial impressions

Greetings to the WSU family! Through the transition period, I am spending part of my time in Kansas and part in Washington. I look forward to being in the state full-time in mid-June.

Let me begin by thanking all of the faculty, staff, students, community members, and elected officials who came out to greet Noel and me during our campus visits in Pullman, Tri-Cities, Spokane, Vancouver, and Everett. It was inspiring to see the honor and joy that everyone takes in being part of Washington State University—regardless of their location within the state.

Some early reflections from our nearly week-long introduction to the campuses—

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Reflections from the Whistle Stop Tour

President-elect Kirk H. Schulz and Dr. Noel Schulz’s tour of WSU’s five physical campuses gave our new first couple an opportunity to see the many parts of our great university. The two-day trip also displayed WSU as a cohesive system with campuses statewide that reflect the economic and human diversity of their communities.

Kirk and Noel were able to see what makes each of our campuses unique and responsive to community needs and what makes them an integral part of WSU’s system-wide priorities around students, academic excellence and research.  Their engaging and personable approach was lauded by attendees at each stop.

Standing room only crowds … » More …

Excited to serve as your president

Greetings from the state of Kansas! I was very excited to be named as the 11th President of Washington State University on Friday and can’t wait to get started. Following the announcement, I wanted to send a brief note of introduction and greetings to start your week.

I have had the pleasure of working at 4 different land-grant institutions throughout my career as a student and faculty member, including Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Kansas State, and now Washington State. While each institution is distinct—the common themes of excellence, affordability, and accessibility are characteristics of each of these outstanding public universities.

I have a tremendous amount … » More …

Your Voice Matters: Employee Engagement Survey Launching March 28th

Our greatest resources at Washington State University are the dedicated faculty and staff whose daily efforts help our students succeed. Our employees teach, lead research and perform any number of crucial tasks propelling our great institution forward.

Because of what you do for WSU, it is worthwhile to occasionally ask how well WSU is doing supporting you. While no workplace is perfect, WSU strives for an organizational culture of integrity, trust and respect. We want the work that you do to be reflective of your professional abilities and aspirations.

Next week, employees will have an opportunity to share their thoughts in our second biennial Employee … » More …

Washington State University President’s Commitment to Safety

The students, faculty, staff, and visitors of Washington State University are the University’s chief and most precious assets. The University is committed to protecting their health and safety, as well as that of the environment. In a University safety culture, averting injury, danger, or loss is foremost on the minds of every member of the WSU community.

With this statement, I affirm my commitment to University safety. A University safety culture means many things, but surely it transcends compliance with regulations. It includes:

Proactive prevention of accidents and incidents
Integrating health and safety considerations in all phases of operations
Continual improvement of … » More …

Loss of Students Highlights Need for Highway Improvements

As president of WSU, I have been grieving with the WSU community the loss of two students killed in separate automobile accidents over the Thanksgiving break. Eighteen-year-old Christine Hunter died in a two-car collision on U.S. Highway 195 on Friday, Nov. 20. Morgan Cope, 20, died Sunday, Nov. 22, in a collision on state Highway 26.

Both Morgan and Christine were freshmen, active in their sororities and excellent students. They loved their experience at WSU and were already members of the Cougar family.

As a parent myself, I can think of no greater pain than that associated with the death of a child. We, of … » More …

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