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Washington State University
Office of the President 2017 Town Halls

University-wide achievements, updates, initiatives

Town Halls 2017

Core presentation, all town halls

Town Hall 2017, WSU Cougar flag waving in the sky


Section 1: Institutional Successes and Recent Major Achievements


 Student Recruitment Achievements

Total enrollment system-wide has increased 8.9% from 5 years ago.

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Students of color: 28.9% of student body system-wide.

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Entering Freshman Avg GPA and Avg. Composite SAT system-wide



Fundraising Achievements

  • More than $250 million in philanthropic commitments since June 2015
  • The University created its largest endowed scholarship fund in FY 2016—$16.5 million estate gift from alumnus Roscoe “Rock” Logan and his wife, Jane
  • Total private gifts and grants raised for faculty and research last 2 years: $64.1M
  • Total raised for scholarships and fellowships last 2 years: $47.9M



New Senior University Leadership

 Recently Hired 

  • Daryl DeWald, Chancellor, WSU Spokane
  • Paul Pitre, Chancellor, WSU Everett
  • Stacy Pearson, Vice President, Finance and Administration
  • Mary Jo Gonzales, Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Phil Weiler, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
  • Mary Rezac, Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
  • Lisa Gloss, Interim Dean, Graduate School

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 Searches Underway

  • Vice President, University Advancement, and CEO, WSU Foundation
  • Chancellor, WSU Tri-Cities
  • Dean, Murrow College of Communication
  • Dean, College of Natural, Human, and Resource Services
  • Dean, College of Arts and Sciences



Research Achievements

  • WSU will lead U.S. consortium in $30M research project with India to advance the power grids of both countries
  • Amazon is exploring possibility of selling ready-to-eat dishes using food-prep technology developed by Juming Tang and brought to market by 915 Labs
  • WSU researchers found a way to create negative mass, giving researchers a tool for exploring and explaining phenomena such as neutron stars, black holes and dark energy
  • Total R&D expenditures: $334.1M, FY 16



Athletic Achievements

 On the Field

  • Football: Holiday Bowl
  • Volleyball: Second Round, NCAA
  • Women’s Cross Country: 18th, NCAA Regional
  • Men’s Cross Country: 14th, NCAA Championships
  • Women’s Basketball: WNIT Semifinal
  • Women’ Rowing: 14th, NCAA Championships

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In the Classroom

  • 4 Academic All-District student athletes
  • 148 All-Conference Scholar-Athletes
  • 6 team academic honors: soccer, women’s and men’s cross country, swimming, tennis, women’s and men’s track and field
  • 22 student athletes members of Honors College
  • Women’s golf program recognized by NCAA last year for ranking in the top 10% for Academic Performance Rate (APR) scores in 2015-16



Milestone Achievements

Created a Doctor of Medicine Program

  • Welcomed inaugural class of 60 medical students with White Coat Ceremony in August
  • Student recruitment focused on students from rural and urban underserved areas
  • College of Medicine will change the face of health care in Washington

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Opened WSU Everett Building in August

  • First WSU building in Everett
  • Facilities include: Engineering, power, and computer laboratories, general classrooms, lecture hall
  • Tangible evidence of WSU’s commitment to Everett and the North Puget Sound region

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Celebration of 10th Anniversary of Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

  • Decade of providing innovative solutions to global infectious disease challenges and fostering the health and economic security of the world’s poorest people
  • Last year the Allen School receive a 5-year, $20M-plus award from the CDC for infectious diseases research in Kenya
    • Focus on emerging diseases, including Zika virus, zoonotic disease, and antimicrobial resistance

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Received Dept. of Education $9M Grant to Support and Expand Upward Bound

  • Supports WSU’s work to help low-income and first-generation college students enroll and graduate from college
  • Current high school students served: Okanogan County, Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley, Central Washington, and Spokane County
  • New programs: Vancouver and Bremerton
  • Part of University’s commitment to providing access and a transformational experience for students

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Acquired ZEISS Xradia Ultra Microscope

  • WSU first U.S. university to purchase $1.7M state-of-the-art microscope
  • Creates 3-D models of a material’s interior down to 50 nanometer resolution
  • Enables researchers to design more efficient and powerful components for technologies ranging from batteries and solar cells to drug delivery methods that use nanoparticles to target cancerous tumor
  • Creates opportunities for new research projects with PNNL and industry partners



Section 2: Drive to 25 and Strategic Plan Updates


Drive to 25 Goal

  • Washington State University will be recognized as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement by 2030.

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11 Metrics

  • 4 AAU metrics
  • 4 peer-comparison metrics
  • 3 WSU-specific metrics

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AAU metrics

  • Federal research and development expenditures
  • Faculty awards
  • National Academy membership
  • Citations: Thomson Reuters InCites

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 Peer-comparison metrics

  • Total research and development expenditures
  • Doctorates awarded
  • Annual giving
  • 6-year graduation rate

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WSU-specific metrics 

  • Percentage of undergraduates involved in research, scholarship, and creative discovery
  • Placement rate of graduates
  • Percentage of underrepresented minority faculty, staff, and students

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Action Plan Leaders


  • Federal research & development expenditures         Chris Keane
  • Faculty awards                                                                 Dan Bernardo
  • National Academy membership                                    Kirk Schulz
  • Citations: Thomson Reuters InCites                              Chris Keane

Peer comparison

  • Total research & development expenditures               Chris Keane
  • Doctorates awarded                                                        Dan Bernardo
  • Annual giving                                                                    Gil Picciotto
  • 6-year graduation rate                                                    Mel Netzhammer


  • Undergrads involved in research, scholarship,           Dan Bernardo

& creative discovery

  • Placement rate of graduates                                         Dave Cillay
  • Underrepresented minority faculty, staff,                    Mary Jo Gonzales

& students

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Timeline for 3-Year Plans

Aug:                Action groups meet initially

Aug-Oct:         Groups draft action plans

Nov:                 Campus provides feedback to plans

Dec:                 Plans modified based on feedback

Plans published online



Section 3: University Budget Update


 Annual Review Balance

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 Action Steps

  • New budget review process continues
  • Recovery plans for units that overspent
  • New revenue-generating opportunities being explored and implemented
  • Critical review of new and vacant positions before refilling
  • Replacement of aged finance, payroll, and human resource software systems
  • Recovery plan to reduce Athletics deficit



Section 4: Priority University Initiatives


WSU-INTO Partnership

  • Critical to boosting international student enrollment from current 7% of student body to 18-20% typical of top 25 universities
  • Enhances ability to provide transformative educational experience to domestic and international students
  • Partnership already responsible for enrollment of about 160 new international students this fall

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Initiative to Improve Campus Culture and Climate

  • External review team to assess system-wide diversity efforts and provide recommendations
  • New system-wide committees to address campus culture and climate issues
  • Reorganization of several offices that focus on diversity education and student services
  • New associate vice president position to coordinate system and campus culture and climate activities

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Expansion of Distance Education Programs

  • 4 new degree programs, fall 2017
    • Undergraduate degrees: data analytics, economic sciences, integrated strategic communication
    • Graduate degree: software engineering
  • Working to develop 7 new online degrees in 2018

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Expansion of High-performance Computing Resources

  • Grow to 250 high-performance computing (HPC) nodes (5,000 cores) in next 1.5 years
  • Expand HPC support of classroom experiences/education
  • Continue centralizing research computing infrastructure to save space, power, and dollars

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Growth of Online Academic Resources

  • WSU creating support systems to assist development, adoption of open education resources (OER)
  • At, faculty can write, design, and disseminate their own texts, or find and implement other OERs
  • Using WSU Affordable Learning Grants, 5 faculty members developed and are using OERs in their classrooms—saving students thousands of dollars
  • WSU selected to participate in the national OpenStax partnership—gives faculty access to library of free online textbooks
  • More information:

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Launch of Online “WSU Today”

  • Addresses need to keep WSU community better informed
  • Will provide a single website with up-to-date campus news, activities, information important to faculty, staff, students
  • Launches October 1