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Office of the President News and Notes

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 …

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 …

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