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Washington State University
Office of the President Letter to Campus

Give a life-saving gift this holiday season

Dear Cougar Community:

There’s a potentially life-saving gift we can give each other this upcoming holiday season: doing our part to mitigate the spread of COVID‑19.

Extra vigilance is required by all of us as virus cases surge and many prepare to spend time with loved ones during the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

It is tempting to relax safety measures around the family and friends we typically spend time with during breaks and holidays. But COVID‑19 is overwhelming many of our communities. You can be contagious and pass along the virus before you show symptoms or feel sick. We recognize how challenging it can … » More …

Moving the system strategic plan forward

October 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Happy Halloween week! I hope the big day conjures up as many happy memories for you as it does for me.

I clearly remember the excitement as a child of going trick‑or‑treating in our neighborhood in Virginia. There was the neighbor that always forgot about Halloween and would rummage around their house for some fruit (apples or oranges). Another set of neighbors (the ones with no children!) would give us a handful of candy. And there were the neighbors who were delighted by our homemade costumes. Recalling those days still brings a smile to my face.

Here’s a little … » More …

Fall 2020 Commencement to be virtual

Dear Cougar Community:

After careful consideration, University leadership has made the decision to celebrate our fall 2020 graduates in a virtual commencement ceremony on December 12. In the end, canceling our in‑person celebration in the interest of keeping our graduates and their families safe outweighed our wishes to hold a traditional commencement exercise.

Reaching this significant life milestone is an occasion that merits a celebratory gathering of everyone involved in the successful pursuit of a college degree: family, other loved ones, faculty, staff, and administrators. Please know that our commencement team is hard at work planning a memorable virtual ceremony. Details about the event have been … » More …

WSU’s Plans for the Spring 2021 Semester

Dear WSU Community:

Thank you again for your continuing adaptability this semester as we partner to protect the health and safety of our community during this ongoing public health crisis. The extraordinary effort that each of you has demonstrated on a daily basis is inspiring and deeply appreciated.

That same type of adaptability will be necessary for spring semester. With the goal of continuing to reduce the risk of spreading COVID‑19 in our communities, we announced this morning some changes to the spring 2021 semester academic calendar.

Spring semester systemwide now will begin January 19, which is about a week later than originally planned. The delay gives … » More …

WSU celebrates Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, Oct. 12

October 9, 2020

To our Cougar community:

Please join us Monday in celebrating WSU’s third Indigenous People’s Day. The Office of Tribal Relations and Native American Programs will host a series of events to mark the occasion.

On October 8, 2018, we declared through proclamation that the second Monday of October would be Indigenous People’s Day at Washington State University. We are committed to not only building relationships comprised of trust, respect and reciprocity with Indigenous Peoples, but also to ensure we honor the sovereignty of Native American Tribes and peoples.

In 1997, Washington State University entered into a MOU agreement with six local tribes» More …

Serving the state through a stronger WSU system

September 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Congratulations on finishing the first 5 weeks of the fall semester. I appreciate the excellent work all of you are doing in using technology to support our students both in and out of the classroom. As I visit with various student groups, I continue to hear positive feedback about the extra efforts each of you is making to ensure our students receive the best Cougar experience possible.

One of the key opportunities identified through our recent strategic planning efforts is to continue the development of the WSU system. During the last several years we have been evolving from a “hub‑and‑spoke” model, in which … » More …

Working together to contain COVID-19

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

The WSU community, like many university families nationwide, has been under the nation’s microscope lately. This has been particularly true on our Pullman campus.

Our best efforts to develop strategies to meet the demands of COVID‑19 have, at times, been met with profound obstacles. There is no established playbook for managing the ever-changing demands of COVID‑19.

But in keeping with the Cougar Spirit, we will continue to work together and adapt to the rapidly evolving challenges our university faces.

Our latest efforts to expand COVID‑19 testing capacity in Pullman demonstrate that flexibility and commitment:

On Sept. 2, a mobile health … » More …

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 …