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Washington State University
Office of the President Perspectives

Implementing Strategic Plan Requires Realigning Resources for the Future

Washington State University’s current Strategic Plan is arguably one of the strongest in the institution’s history. Built with extensive input from every part of the university, it outlines and prioritizes all aspects of our core mission, and most importantly, provides a set of metrics by which we can gauge our progress.

In fact, the Institutional Effectiveness Council and its subcommittees currently are submitting progress reports on each of the major themes of the Strategic Plan. We will share some of those key indicators with the university community and the WSU Board of Regents later this fall. For the first time, perhaps ever, the plan … » More …

The Transformation $1 Billion Can Buy

We celebrated one of Washington State University’s crowning achievements earlier this month: the successful completion of the $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas. The celebration culminated in Sept. 18 festivities on the Pullman campus with speeches, music, Butch the Cougar, a live webcast, a university-wide picnic and more. The weather was perfect. It was a great day to be a Coug!

With the official party behind us, though, it is important to understand just how lasting the transformation sparked by this campaign will be. The statistics tell some of the story: More than 206,000 generous donors made more … » More …

WSU Building Out a Full Portfolio of Health Sciences in Spokane

Development of the Washington State University School of Medicine continues to attract attention from stakeholders and media, and it certainly will be the cornerstone of WSU Health Sciences Spokane. We remain on track to hire the inaugural dean, apply for accreditation and enroll our first class by fall 2017.

In addition to the medical school, however, we continue to develop all facets of our health sciences portfolio.

Over the past several years, we have moved the headquarters of two colleges – the College of Nursing and the College of Pharmacy – to the Spokane campus and created the College of Medical Sciences, also headquartered at … » More …

WSU Welcomes Alex Pietsch

A key component of our university’s land-grant mission is collaborating with the region’s leading industries to address major challenges and create economic opportunities that benefit of our economy. To that goal, I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Alex Pietsch as associate vice president for industry relations.

Alex will spearhead Washington State University’s efforts to develop partnerships with our state’s key knowledge-based industries. Initially, he will focus on the aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and information-technology sectors. Working collaboratively with our research and economic development, public policy, and advancement teams, Alex will report to the Provost/Executive Vice President (currently myself, as Interim President) and have an industry-specific … » More …

Interim Provosts Appointed

One of the most critical issues we face in the wake of President Floyd’s passing is maintaining the momentum and progress on our institutional initiatives and priorities. As I step fully into the role of interim president, it is imperative to avoid a gap in leadership in the Provost’s Office. Given the relatively short time period this situation will likely exist and the long, steep learning curve anyone new to the position would face, I have decided to delegate the responsibilities of provost to two people – Vice Provost Erica Austin and Dr. Ron Mittelhammer, dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural … » More …

First open forum sparks good conversation

PULLMAN, Wash. – I want to thank all those who joined our first open forum on the Pullman campus on Monday. Nearly 100 faculty, staff and graduate students attended – not bad for a sunny July afternoon.

Although we covered a wide range of topics, there were a couple of questions that I want to make sure we answer for the benefit of the entire university community.

What does the tuition reduction mean for the institution financially? The legislature approved a 5 percent decrease in resident undergraduate tuition for this fiscal year and an additional 10 percent for next fiscal year.

Fortunately, lawmakers also provided … » More …

WSU’s 125th Year Turning Out To Be One of Its Best

When we announced that Washington State University would be celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015, we knew it would be a special year. No one, however, understood just how important it would be for our institution. In fact, our 125th year is turning out to be one of the best in our rich history. Consider the following.

Last fall, we reached an all-time enrollment high of 28,686 students and, for the fourth year in a row, 35 percent of the incoming freshman class identified as students of color. Enrollment was up at each of our four campuses around the state, as well as the … » More …

Addressing Tomorrow’s Energy Challenges with Clean Tech Research Today

As the state’s land-grant research university, it is mission imperative that Washington State University align its resources – research, education, and engagement – with the most pressing challenges of our state, nation, and world. I can think of few issues as pressing as finding new, renewable energy alternatives. In the past month, the faculty, staff, and students in our Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture have had some tremendous successes in the clean technology arena.

April started with WSU’s inaugural energy summit, which focused on storage technologies, one of the most challenging obstacles to incorporating renewable energy into the electric power grid. Hosted by WSU’s … » More …

Medical Education Bill Marks Historic Moment for WSU, Washington State

Over the course of its 125-year history, Washington State University has enjoyed many moments of great achievement. There is no doubt that today will be listed among its most historic.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee this morning signed into law a bill that paves the way for an independently accredited WSU medical school at our health sciences campus in Spokane. I deeply appreciate his support as well as that of the legislators who stepped up to sponsor and co-sponsor the bill: Sen. Michael Baumgartner and Rep. Marcus Riccelli sponsored the legislation and, working with co-sponsors Sen. Andy Billig and Rep. Norm Johnson, garnered statewide, bipartisan support. … » More …

Celebrating 125 Years of Innovation, Education, and Impact

It was this week 125 years ago that the State of Washington made its very first investment in Washington State University.

Thirty years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln initiated legislation to create our nation’s land-grant institutions. In 1890, in Washington’s first year as a state, our Legislature leveraged the resources allocated through what became known as the Morrill Act to establish a university focused on agriculture, engineering, and the applied arts, delivering a practical education to the working class and supporting the state’s economy. They made that commitment fully expecting a lasting return on investment. I am proud to say we have delivered on that expectation … » More …