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Washington State University
Office of the President Letter to Campus

Goals for this academic year

Greetings from French Administration! Participating in our initial “Drive to 25” town halls the last two weeks has been an enjoyable and informative process—I appreciate the excellent questions and dialogue on WSU issues. And I look forward to talking to many more of you in the next couple of weeks as Provost Bernardo and I complete our visits with each college and campus. I urge you to share your thoughts about the Drive to 25 initiative—all viewpoints are appreciated and welcomed!

Throughout my career, I have always strongly believed in goal setting and thoughtfully planning what I wanted to accomplish each academic year. Philosophically, I … » More …

‘Drive to 25’ to showcase WSU’s strengths

Greetings from French Administration. It has been a special treat to watch all of our students and faculty return from summer activities as we begin the fall semester. A college town reflects a new energy and vitality at the start of an academic year, so if everyday tasks around Pullman require a little longer to accomplish, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!

In my July letter to campus, I discussed the need to have a broad ranging and measurable goal to guide WSU for the next decade. I proposed this as our overarching focus:

Washington State University will be recognized as one of … » More …

An insightful ‘conversation’ with Butch

Greetings from French Administration! I trust that each of you has had a productive July and that you are getting ready for the fall semester. While I have been involved in higher education for more than 25 years, I am still amazed at how fast the summer goes by. I always get excited when our students return to campus from their summer experiences, and move-in day is right around the corner!

I was out walking around our beautiful campus in Pullman this week and just happened to run into Butch T. Cougar. We had a chance to visit a bit—I was impressed with the speed … » More …

Setting a target for WSU’s future

Greetings from French Administration! I hope that everyone is having a great summer and that you have fun plans for the Fourth of July holiday.

June has been a productive month for Washington State, highlighted of course by Provost Dan Bernardo’s “bee beard” at a recent fundraiser for the WSU Honey Bee and Pollinator Research Center. This is an excellent example of WSU’s land-grant mission to provide service through practical research and education. Bees are key to healthy food systems and WSU’s research is helping sustain Washington food and agriculture, a $35 billion industry. If you haven’t seen the article and pictures about the bees, … » More …

A few thoughts about recent discussions

Summer is finally upon us! I trust everyone had a successful end to the spring semester, and that your summer personal and professional activities are well under way. My normal “to-do” list for this summer is pretty extensive—but mostly it revolves around successfully moving our household from Manhattan to Pullman!

The past month has been a busy one, and I have a few updates that I want to share with the Washington State University community. I want to focus on four major areas in this letter: WSU budget, expansion of the Pullman/Moscow Airport, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and the spring WSU Foundation … » More …

Thanks—and some initial impressions

Greetings to the WSU family! Through the transition period, I am spending part of my time in Kansas and part in Washington. I look forward to being in the state full-time in mid-June.

Let me begin by thanking all of the faculty, staff, students, community members, and elected officials who came out to greet Noel and me during our campus visits in Pullman, Tri-Cities, Spokane, Vancouver, and Everett. It was inspiring to see the honor and joy that everyone takes in being part of Washington State University—regardless of their location within the state.

Some early reflections from our nearly week-long introduction to the campuses—

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Excited to serve as your president

Greetings from the state of Kansas! I was very excited to be named as the 11th President of Washington State University on Friday and can’t wait to get started. Following the announcement, I wanted to send a brief note of introduction and greetings to start your week.

I have had the pleasure of working at 4 different land-grant institutions throughout my career as a student and faculty member, including Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Kansas State, and now Washington State. While each institution is distinct—the common themes of excellence, affordability, and accessibility are characteristics of each of these outstanding public universities.

I have a tremendous amount … » More …