Serving Franklin County, WA

University president presents state of WSU 2021

WSU has a campus in the Tri-Cities

PULLMAN — "OneWSU" was the word at the 2021 State of the University event, given Tuesday at the Lewis Alumni Centre.

WSU President Kirk Schulz and Provost Elizabeth Chilton spoke.

Plans are not finalized for OneWSU as feedback is sought and more information is released.

"This is a multi-year process," Schulz said. "I think it's really important that we spend the time to have the conversations that we need to, and that we stay on a deliberate pace."

Chilton stated the WSU campuses and extension locations are united now, and the idea is to improve on an established foundation.

"It's about how do we balance serving those local constituencies, our communities, our students and our faculty and staff, while at the same time making good on the strength of being part of one system," Chilton said. "We really seek to augment and maintain the things that are working well and then try to improve both transparency and clarity in roles and responsibilities for those things that are not working particularly well."

Schulz and Chilton explained the plan comes from a goal to address concerns bought up by the WSU community.

Also in the talk, Schulz spoke about WSU's turn to remote learning due to COVID and more than 150 research projects undertaken by the university related to the virus, some of which are funded by multi-million dollar grants.

Diversity, equity and inclusion were topics, with Schultz talking about the forming of the President's Commission on Campus Climate and Culture. It will continue the work of the Five Working Groups on Campus Culture and Climate, which published a final report and recommendations last year.

Chilton now works with Associate Vice Provost Lisa Guerrero to conduct cluster hirings to bring more diversity to faculty.

Schultz closed with comments about WSU's ability to come out of the pandemic in good financial shape.

"I remain tremendously excited about our potential, and I think we've learned some things about how to work together effectively through COVID-19," he said.


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