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Office of the President News and Notes

A Reputation for Research

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 10/30/07

The academic reputations of individual colleges and universities do not change much over time. The popular perceptions of the top research institutions 10 or 20 years ago are not all that different than the perceptions today.  However, in truth, colleges and universities do change. Over the years, some make progress; some do not.

When I came to Washington State University, I was most impressed by the quality and breadth of the academic and scientific research that is taking place here. We have a solid national reputation. Still, the reality of what I have found here — which reflects the … » More …

A Call for Civility

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D – 10/12/07 

Universities must be places where the free exchange of ideas is not just protected, but encouraged. At the same time, we do not want individuals on our campuses to feel threatened because of their ethnicity or their religious beliefs.

Sometimes these two principles appear to be in conflict. At those times, we must rely on the good-faith efforts of all members of the university community to assure that the resulting dialog is both constructive and civil.

Controversies are arising on campuses nationwide in connection with what some political groups have designated as Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, the week of Oct. … » More …

Pullman, Washington State University’s Hometown

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 10/10/07 

Washington State University has an impact on every city where it has a campus. But clearly, it is in Pullman where that impact is felt most powerfully.

As one of the smallest cities nationwide to host a major research university, Pullman is a singular spot. Certainly, it holds a fond place in the hearts of all those alumni who have earned degrees here. In the past months, I have greatly enjoyed getting acquainted with the distinctive people and places of the Palouse.

The Pullman campus plays an enormous role in the everyday life of its home city; we must … » More …

Keeping our Campuses Safe

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 10/3/07 

April’s tragic shootings at Virginia Tech focused the attention of everyone in higher education on the issue of campus safety.

While it is impossible to guarantee absolute protection on an open campus where people come and go at all hours of the day, it is imperative that we do everything within our power to make sure that students, faculty and staff are alerted to what is happening in times of crisis.

Toward that end, people in the Pullman community heard a series of siren blasts and public address announcements Saturday as we again tested our newly installed outdoor warning … » More …

Keeping Agriculture Strong

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 9/26/07

In the fall, many Washingtonians visit orchards. Last week, I was one of them.

My trip to Central Washington centered around the dedication of a new Washington State University tree fruit research orchard near Rock Island. The work that will be done there, and will continue in the main research labs in Wenatchee, provides a good illustration of what WSU must do to support the economy and a way of life in our state.

Tree fruit, of course, is big business in Washington. An independent study of the tree fruit industry found that the industry as a whole produces … » More …

WSU Strategic Plan: Reviewed and Renewed

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 9/19/07

From time to time, I will turn over the Perspectives column space to others, either inside or outside the university community, who have an important point of view to share about an issue that impacts Washington State University. This week, Robert Bates, provost and executive vice president, is writing about an important university-wide effort – the review of our strategic plan.

WSU Strategic Plan:  Reviewed and Renewed

Robert Bates 

Washington State University has followed the path charted by the Strategic Plan for the last five years. It has guided our priorities, actions, and … » More …

Higher Enrollment, Higher Expectations

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 9/12/07

Last week’s news about enrollment was overwhelmingly positive across our university. The 10th day figures showed higher enrollments university-wide; Pullman’s largest freshman class ever; a first class of freshmen that far exceeded expectations at WSU Tri-Cities; a well-qualified, diverse group of incoming students.

I am excited to see that WSU is keeping our commitment to the state and providing higher education for more Washingtonians.

At the same time, I see those positive numbers as only one step toward what I would consider true success.

As I have traveled around Washington these past few months to become reacquainted with community … » More …

WSU’s Strong Foundation

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 9/5/07

Recently, I spent a most delightful afternoon in San Francisco with Jane Logan.

In so many ways, Jane exemplifies the essence of Washington State University tenacious, strong, caring, with a powerful heart.

Her love for WSU was principally derived through her late husband Roscoe (Rock) Logan (BS, Engineering & Architecture, ’33). A successful entrepreneur and businessman, he was co-founder of Braddock, Logan and Valley.  Started shortly after the end of WWII, his firm, today known as Braddock & Logan, continues its impressive architectural footprint in the Bay Area.

Jane shared memories of Pullman and “Washington State College” and challenged … » More …

Statewide Mission

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 8/29/07

Ask someone where Washington State University is located, and you will likely hear, “Pullman.”

That answer, of course, is both right and wrong. Pullman is the home of our oldest and largest campus and is the center of our university’s administration. And that is not going to change. But Washington State University has become, by any measure, a statewide enterprise. We are very much the state’s university.

The statewide impact and mission of WSU will be on display next week during the annual Seattle Week. This will be my first Seattle Week, but I have heard much about its … » More …

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