March 27, 2020
Dear WSU Faculty and Staff:
Finding the right words are difficult at the moment.
Many in our Cougar community are dealing with complex and challenging
issues: school‑age children at home, the constant bombardment of
COVID‑19 news, the need to practice social distancing, dramatic
changes to the way students are mentored and supported, and much
more. In addition, anxiety and uncertainty about the future crowd our minds.
Even our relationships have changed. Although we continue to interact
with each other over Zoom, Teams, or other platforms, it isn’t the
same as being able to walk over to someone’s office for a cup of coffee
or to share exciting news or touch base about how our families are doing.
I don’t know about you, but I miss walking across all of our
campuses, seeing smiling (okay, maybe not always smiling) faces, and saying
hello to everyone—students, faculty, and staff. What are you missing
most right now? What can we do to help maintain our relationships and our
community during the coming days?
In times like these when we are faced with adversity, it brings out both
the best in people and the worst in people. For WSU, COVID‑19 has
brought out the best in us.
These past 3 weeks, I have been humbled by the ways in which our
faculty and staff across the entire WSU system have come together to
keep our educational enterprise moving forward. You have taken in‑person
classes and moved them to online delivery seamlessly. In less than 10 days,
you have attended trainings in record numbers in the evenings and on weekends
to learn Zoom and other instructional tools. Everyone is finding creative ways
to transition student engagement opportunities online to maintain our
relationships with our Cougars and to provide the experiences they need to be
Together, we will continue working through a situation unprecedented
in our lifetime. Your spirit and can‑do attitude inspire me and our
entire community. Thanks for all you do for WSU.
I have never been prouder to be a Coug.
Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University