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Office of the President Letters to Campus

Preliminary accreditation granted to medical school

I am delighted to share a significant moment in Washington State University’s 126-year history with you. Earlier today, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine received preliminary accreditation—a major milestone that keeps the college on track to enroll its inaugural class of students in August 2017.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting agency for MD-granting medical schools in the United States and Canada, communicated news of the preliminary accreditation to Dr. John Tomkowiak, M.D., the founding dean of the Floyd College of Medicine.

This achievement moves us one step closer to educating physicians who will practice in Washington’s underserved communities and making medical education … » More …

WSU committed to freedom of expression and access to higher education

As we noted in a message emailed to the entire Washington State University community earlier this month, WSU cherishes freedom of expression on its campuses. In fact, protecting the free exchange of ideas while encouraging dialogue that is constructive, respectful, and civil is one of the University’s core values.

Similarly, we hold diversity and global citizenship as a core institutional value—it is a value essential for success in our globally interdependent world.

WSU also embraces its founding precepts as a land-grant institution of higher education: We are committed to providing all students with equal access to affordable higher education and to ensuring they are … » More …

Constructive dialogue and valuing diversity

(The message below was sent via email Oct. 4 to students at all WSU campuses.)

Over the last year, on campuses around the U.S., free speech has been at the center of an amazing number of discussions and actions. These types of activities form the bedrock of academic life—observation, analysis, critique, and debate.

There is so much richness in the dialogue that is occurring: conversations about safe spaces and free speech, debates about the appropriate ways to protest and dissent. It’s a great time to be part of the WSU community, engaging with these issues together.

Our core values

We also recognize that these conversations … » More …

Goals for this academic year

Greetings from French Administration! Participating in our initial “Drive to 25” town halls the last two weeks has been an enjoyable and informative process—I appreciate the excellent questions and dialogue on WSU issues. And I look forward to talking to many more of you in the next couple of weeks as Provost Bernardo and I complete our visits with each college and campus. I urge you to share your thoughts about the Drive to 25 initiative—all viewpoints are appreciated and welcomed!

Throughout my career, I have always strongly believed in goal setting and thoughtfully planning what I wanted to accomplish each academic year. Philosophically, I … » More …

‘Drive to 25’ to showcase WSU’s strengths

Greetings from French Administration. It has been a special treat to watch all of our students and faculty return from summer activities as we begin the fall semester. A college town reflects a new energy and vitality at the start of an academic year, so if everyday tasks around Pullman require a little longer to accomplish, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!

In my July letter to campus, I discussed the need to have a broad ranging and measurable goal to guide WSU for the next decade. I proposed this as our overarching focus:

Washington State University will be recognized as one of … » More …

An insightful ‘conversation’ with Butch

Greetings from French Administration! I trust that each of you has had a productive July and that you are getting ready for the fall semester. While I have been involved in higher education for more than 25 years, I am still amazed at how fast the summer goes by. I always get excited when our students return to campus from their summer experiences, and move-in day is right around the corner!

I was out walking around our beautiful campus in Pullman this week and just happened to run into Butch T. Cougar. We had a chance to visit a bit—I was impressed with the speed … » More …

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 …

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