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Washington State University
Office of the President News and Notes

On Closing Campus

Elson D. Floyd, Ph.D. – 2/5/08

Deciding when or if to close a major university is never easy and it is far from an exact science. One has to weigh the safety of students, faculty and staff against the primary responsibility of teaching and research.

Decisions regarding last week’s major snow event on our Pullman campus were complicated by the fact that most of the university’s senior leadership was in Vancouver at a meeting of the Board of Regents.

The snowfall intensified in Pullman during the early morning hours Thursday. Based on all available information at my disposal, it seemed that closing the campus … » More …

Imagining Tomorrow

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 1/30/08

Two of the primary responsibilities of a major public research university are to seek solutions to the pressing issues facing our society and to educate the next generation of scientists, scholars and problem-solvers.

Those missions are coming together in a particularly exciting way in the “Imagine Tomorrow” competition that Washington State University is sponsoring in high schools across the state.

The idea is to put the initiative and energy of high school students together with the resources of our university and of Washington’s business and technology leaders. The goal is to develop innovative answers to a very real dilemma … » More …

Friday’s Tragedy

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 1/14/08

The tragic accident near Coeur d’Alene over the weekend that took the lives of three WSU students is a sobering reminder of the fragility of so much that we too often take for granted. This event affects all of us on this campus, all of us who are part of the Cougars’ extended family.

Ann Barney, Benjamin Lockard and Tyler Pearson — each was a special individual. At the same time, they had so much in common with the students who are going back and forth to classes on our campuses today — the desire for an … » More …

Federal Dollars at Work at WSU

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 1/10/08

Later this month, I will be going to Washington, D.C. to discuss our requests for federal funding with our state’s congressional delegation. This visit begins a year-long process that, we hope, will lead to new and continued funding for Washington State University projects across the state.

Recently, our federal relations effort yielded a strong funding package for our university’s budget requests. WSU will receive money toward the construction of an Agricultural Research Service building on our Pullman campus, for nursing education, for agricultural research, for the creation of a center to study ways to combat the spread … » More …

An Exhilarating Year

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 12/19/07

Just over a year ago, I came to Pullman to be approved by the Washington State University Board of Regents as the 10th president of our university.

It has been a most exhilarating 12 months.

First, working closely with my predecessor V. Lane Rawlins, I received an in-depth education about the opportunities and challenges facing this institution.

Since taking over as president in May, I have been meeting with the faculty, staff and students who make this place work and with the friends and supporters who care so much about where Washington State University is heading. We have moved … » More …

Excellence Across the University

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 12/12/07 

During public forums, I am frequently asked about my vision and plans for Washington State University. In response, I usually cite the continued development of several programs that are excellent now and are poised for even greater things.

Of course, any such answer can provide only a brief account of our university’s assets. A comprehensive public research institution with four campuses, extension offices in each of Washington’s counties, more than 24,000 students, 2,300 faculty members and nearly 6,000 employees does not lend itself to a simple description.

I have been reminded of the breadth of our university’s strengths by … » More …

Report on College Reorganization

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 12/3/07

Several weeks ago, I asked Provost Robert Bates to appoint a committee of faculty to study the possible consolidation of the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Sciences, given the pending retirement of Dean Erich Lear. I am devoting this week’s Perspectives column to this matter.

Attached are the committee’s report and my acceptance of the committee’s recommendation.

Arts and Sciences Review Committee Final Report – PDF

My Acceptance – PDF

Native American Heritage Month

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 11/28/07

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of a significant event in the life of the university and its relationship with Native American tribes in the region.

In November 1997, Washington State University entered a Memorandum of Understanding with six tribes including the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Colville Confederated Tribes, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the Yakama Nation.  Since that date, three other tribes have become signatory to this MOU including the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs … » More …

The Marketplace of Ideas

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 11/14/07

To fulfill its goals as an educational institution, a public research university must encourage the free exchange of ideas. Exposed to diverse viewpoints, our students learn and grow.

That principle extends well beyond the walls of academia, of course. Citizens, too, need to have access to a full range of opinions and ideas as they make the decisions that are fundamental to our democracy.

Last week in Seattle, the Federal Communications Commission held a hearing on possible media ownership rule changes. Among those testifying was Elizabeth Blanks Hindman, an associate professor of journalism at Washington State University’s Murrow School … » More …

Making Access Work

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. – 11/7/07

This past weekend, Washington State University hosted the annual Children of Aztlan Sharing Higher Education (CASHE) conference, which brings promising Chicano/Latino students to our campus.

The student volunteers who organized this conference deserve our thanks. Their enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of the 200 or so students who attended, made it a great event. These educational recruiting efforts are important, not just for the students involved, or even just for our university, but for our state as a whole.

Similar to many other states, Washington is seeing its fastest growth among its minority population. The State of Washington Office of … » More …