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Washington State University
Office of the President News and Notes

Take time to balance work-life demands

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Welcome back for the fall 2020 semester. Despite lack of the usual visible evidence of the hustle and bustle that takes place throughout the WSU system as we begin a new academic year, I know all of you worked extremely hard to make our opening successful. Thank you so much.

The last several months have continued to create unprecedented stress for our community. The uncertainty surrounding COVID‑19, the state of the economy, and the issues involving systemic racism and social justice are among the concerns that need our attention. I deeply appreciate all of your efforts during these times in support of WSU and … » More …

Student Fees for WSU Pullman

To our WSU Pullman Students,

As you prepare for fall 2020, we know you have been waiting for a decision on student fees. We recognize and appreciate the significant personal investments you are making in your education.

The decisions we make as an institution impact your experience at WSU as well as your financial future. We’ve continued to keep facilities open that support your basic needs and provide you with the services focused on health and well-being. Many of these services are funded by student fees.

Therefore, we are delaying institutional decisions regarding fee adjustments for fall 2020 until students can be a part of … » More …

Fall shifting to remote Cougar experience

To our Cougar community on the WSU Pullman campus:

We write today with disappointing news. Our fall 2020 semester at WSU Pullman will not be what we hoped, wanted, or planned.

Given the alarming rise in the number of COVID‑19 cases regionally and nationally, all undergraduate courses at WSU Pullman will be delivered at a distance and will be completed remotely, with extremely limited exceptions for in‑person instruction. Information regarding WSU Pullman graduate coursework and instructional delivery methods will be announced by August 1.

We are coordinating closely as a WSU system in finalizing plans for the fall. Our other campuses will announce their plans shortly.

We make this decision with the … » More …

Next steps in implementing FY 2021 budget reductions

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As we continue to carefully weigh the impact of various budget-reduction scenarios and identify solutions that will be the least harmful to our ability to carry out our land-grant mission, I want to bring you up-to-date on the steps that the Executive Committee of the President’s Cabinet has approved for the system-wide Fiscal Year 2021 budget process.

As you know, on May 13, WSU received notification from the governor’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) directing all state agencies to identify operating budget savings for the fiscal year beginning July 2020 due to anticipated declines in state revenues caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. … » More …

In support of our international students

Dear Cougar Community:

We want to be crystal-clear: Washington State University fully supports the ability of all international students to pursue a college degree.

We feel compelled to make this public statement in light of the announcement earlier this week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that it would discontinue visa exceptions for international students on F‑1 visas who take all of their courses online. The decision could force hundreds of thousands of international students to leave the United States and threatens the academic work of more than 2,100 students across the WSU system.

The new federal policies are unjust and damaging. At a time when universities … » More …

In-person commencement canceled

It is with much sadness and regret that we write to let you know we have decided to cancel the in‑person commencement ceremonies scheduled at all of our campuses later this summer.

This is not a choice that any of us wanted to make. It was a decision not easily made nor quickly reached. But in consideration of the state’s COVID‑19 guidelines for resuming group activities and our own abundance of caution in protecting the health and safety of the entire Cougar community, we feel it is the right decision.

Please join us in once again congratulating our 2020 spring semester graduates. They displayed … » More …

Supreme Court ruling affirms DACA policy

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Yesterday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a tremendous victory for many students at WSU, as well as students and their families throughout the State of Washington and the nation.

The Supreme Court’s decision blocked the dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which would have affected an estimated 700,000 young adults across the country. Considering the events of the past few months, we welcome the Court’s decision in support of DACA students, especially for those undocumented students in our Cougar community.

Additionally, we reaffirm our commitment to creating an environment that fully encourages and embraces the educational and life aspirations … » More …

Next steps in reducing our budget

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As we continue to work together as a community to address all of the challenges presented by COVID‑19 and simultaneously fulfill our mission to the people of the state, I want to update you about the process we have kicked off to address one of our most critical issues—the University’s budget for the 2020–21 fiscal year.

As you know, in May I announced that all units across the system would be asked to prepare plans reducing their budgets by 10% to meet the steep declines in state revenues due to the pandemic. At the same time, I shared 4 guiding principles» More …

Plans for fall continue to take shape

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

As we continue working together across the WSU system on the details of a plan to resume in‑person operations at all of our locations for the fall semester, I want to update you about some of the key decisions we have made as well as some of the issues we continue to examine.

First and foremost, I want to reiterate that protecting the health and safety of our Cougar family is of paramount concern. All decisions affecting the fall semester are being scrutinized from a safety perspective.

As part of our planning process, we are heeding the advice of health experts. … » More …

Recent tragedies a call for self examination

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Racism looms over our nation’s soul.

Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Three on a seemingly endless list of African American fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, loved ones, and family members, all of whom were killed because they were black.

Each a recent and stark reminder and memorial of the ugliness of historic, systemic inequality.

Each a victim of our country’s severe racial and class disparities.

The COVID‑19 pandemic has laid bare the truth about the unequal access to health care that people of color—specifically African Americans—face. This fact only compounds the current outrage.

We are still so far from achieving … » More …