As we continue to take the next steps in acting on our new WSU system
strategic plan that I described in my September letter, I want to highlight
3 major areas of emphasis related to WSU system optimization:
Implementation of the WSU system strategic plan
We launched our System Strategy Series with an event on October 8
that was designed to spark conversations among faculty, staff, and students
about potential opportunities to create additional system‑wide partnerships
among campuses, colleges, and units to deliver improved health care to
rural and underserved areas of Washington.
The event featured 8 presentations by faculty and staff from
WSU Extension, the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource
Sciences, and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine that demonstrated
how the current partnerships they have created are delivering the University’s
expertise to rural communities in the state.
The 2‑hour virtual session, which was attended by WSU community
members statewide, was shorter in length than our previous all‑day planning
sessions in order to enable more faculty and staff to participate. The event
advanced Goal 3 of the strategic plan, which calls for the University to
become a national leader in outreach, extension, service, and engagement while
addressing quality of life issues facing Washington residents.
One of the key takeaways from the October 8 discussions is that we
need to find additional ways to quickly connect faculty with similar interests
who are working in and conducting research in health care delivery.
I encourage you to participate in future strategy sessions. This is an
ideal way to directly influence the evolution of the WSU system.
Establishment of councils and collaboratives as structures for
implementing a system approach
One of the sets of recommendations made in the recent report on
WSU system‑level roles and responsibilities is to establish
groups of faculty and staff to assist in the management and leadership of
the WSU system. Provost Elizabeth Chilton and I are continuing to work
with chancellors, deans, and vice presidents to create many of the
groups recommended in the report. We are also engaged with the Faculty Senate
leadership to make certain there is appropriate faculty representation. I will
provide additional details in my November letter, including a link to a website
with more information about the groups, their membership, meeting frequency,
and decision-making authority.
Utilization of “vice president” and associated titles
for WSU system‑level leadership and “chancellor” and
associated titles for WSU campus‑level leadership
During the course of the academic year we will be working with the WSU Board
of Regents and other leadership groups to ensure we clearly define which
leadership positions have system‑level responsibilities and which
positions are more campus focused. This can be especially confusing for the
WSU Pullman campus, where system‑level decisions are often conflated
with campus-specific decisions. I will provide additional updates as I work
with University governance groups and administrative colleagues to clarify
system/campus roles and responsibilities of current administrators.