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Office of the President News and Notes

Addressing audit findings; moving forward with modernization initiative

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Congratulations on completion of another successful academic year. Celebrating commencement with our students and their families as our graduates take the next step in their life journey is always a richly gratifying highlight of the academic year.

I very much appreciate the role that all of you throughout our statewide community have played in making the WSU experience so positive for our undergraduate and graduate students. Thank you!

Many of you likely have seen media reports about the results of a recent internal audit of WSU athletics. This routine audit, which was discussed at the Board of Regents meeting earlier this … » More …

Celebrating excellence as the semester heads for the homestretch

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Spring has arrived at last. And while we still have traces of snow across the Palouse, signs of spring are popping up daily—here and at all of our campuses. I encourage you to take a few minutes for a leisurely stroll wherever you are located to take in the sights and smells of the season. I look forward to the increasing hours of daylight and sunshine that await us in the months to come.

When I was growing up I enjoyed riddle and joke books. This was a particular favorite from Bennett Cerf’s Book of Riddles:

Q:  Why did the boy … » More …

Drive to 25: Alive and well, and advancing

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Happy end of February. I hope all is well with you as we continue the run-up to spring break.

Like many of you, I suspect, our unseasonably mild temperatures and lack of snow across much of the state earlier this month prompted me to begin envisioning favorite outdoor spring and summer activities, including the upcoming camping season.

Then, of course, winter intervened to deliver a cold dose of reality, complete with the lowest temperatures of the season. Despite that temporary setback, I continue to anticipate the beginning of March and the joys spring promises, including longer days warmed by increasing sunshine, the … » More …

Many reasons for optimism despite challenges

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Greetings as we close out January and the first weeks of spring semester. It is great to see all of our students, faculty, and staff back at all 6 campuses. Noel and I enjoyed some down time with both of our sons and daughter-in-law over the holiday break. I trust that everyone was able to take some time for reflection and rest.

Being around and interacting with our students is always exhilarating and makes me tremendously proud—the future is bright for so many of members of the Cougar family. It is for those reasons that I grieve for Tyler Hilinski and … » More …

A Cougar shoutout to our new athletics director

While our community continues to cope with and heal following the tragic death of Tyler Hilinski last week, I want to share some uplifting news with you regarding our athletics program. As many of you are already aware, Patrick Chun accepted our offer to become WSU’s new athletics director last week.

Hiring Pat is truly a game-changing day for our athletics program. When we began our search, we focused on identifying candidates with a blend of high-level leadership experience, vision, and passion—an individual who could lead Cougar athletics to the next level of success.

In Pat, we’ve found that person. He brings more than 20 … » More …

Dr. King’s words still call us to action

More than 54 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the most electrifying speeches of modern times as he called for an end to racism in the United States and civil and economic rights for all.

The stirring words of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” address became a defining moment of the civil rights movement in our country. The speech not only reaffirmed the moral force of the civil rights movement, it renewed the call to live up to the ideals of social justice and equality expressed in our country’s founding documents.

Perhaps … » More …

With gratitude to our community

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Greetings from French Administration. With the fall semester wrapped up and preparations for the holidays in full swing, we are already planning for what promises to be an exciting 2018. But before we turn the page on 2017, I want to express my gratitude to all of you.

First, I want to thank our faculty. You do an incredible job of educating our students across the state, and beyond. Many of you not only are teachers but also mentors and friends to our students—making yourselves available nearly 24/7 through email, social media, texting, and in-person meetings. You do a stellar … » More …

Reflections on our accomplishments to date

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I hope all of you enjoyed some well-deserved time off over the Thanksgiving break. I had the opportunity to represent the University at several Apple Cup events in Seattle last weekend, including at a WSU Alumni Association event Friday evening. More than 300 enthusiastic alumni and friends turned out to hear about some of our university-wide successes this academic year and to cheer on the Cougar football team before we took on the University of Washington in the Apple Cup game Saturday evening.

Each year, UW President Ana Mari Cauce and I agree to a friendly wager involving the outcome of the game. If WSU … » More …

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 …

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