May 9, 2022
Dear WSU Community,
As another semester comes to an end, I would like to celebrate the progress we have made over
the last year. From resuming in‑person instruction and events to advancing OneWSU planning and
installing our inaugural chancellor of the Pullman campus—a lot has changed for the university
In June 2020, leadership adopted the OneWSU initiative as part of the WSU System strategic
plan to better meet the needs of our evolving system. The success we have experienced throughout
this transition has reaffirmed its necessity. Since shifting operational leadership responsibilities
for the Pullman campus to Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton, I have had more opportunities to visit our
campuses, advocate for system needs at the local, state, and federal levels, and increase fundraising
efforts to advance university goals and objectives for all six campuses.
While the last few years have been strained in the wake of COVID‑19 budget trimming, WSU is on a
positive trajectory thanks to the support of our donors and state legislators.
This year we are on pace to record the highest level of philanthropic activity since 2015, with
our fiscal year-to-date gift totals exceeding $126 million. We also received one of the largest gifts
in WSU history from Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Their
combined $20 million donation will support the construction of a new student success building for
the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture in Pullman.
A number of anonymous supporters contributed to this extraordinary philanthropic milestone over
the last few months. The WSU Department of Accounting in the Carson College of Business recently
received $1.5 million to establish an endowment that will assist the recruitment and retention of
underrepresented students and increase focus on high‑impact learning practices to motivate student
engagement. Also, $2.2 million was anonymously gifted to the WSU College of Pharmacy and
Pharmaceutical Sciences. With this gift, the college will launch the Rural Health Initiative which
will enable pharmacy students to offer expanded health care services across rural Washington.
Gifts like these are an investment in the continued success of our people and a glowing commendation
of students, staff, faculty, and programs across the six‑campus system. We are grateful and honored to
be the recipient of these investments and will utilize the funds to bolster the next generation of
Coug industry leaders and game-changers.
After demonstrating incredible adaptability and professionalism during the pandemic, our top
priority heading into the 2022 legislative session was securing increased compensation for all
employees in the new fiscal year. We received $7.5 million in annual funds to achieve that end,
with the Washington State Legislature agreeing to increase the state’s share in those raises.
Though this is a monumental step in the right direction, we will continue to press for appropriate
compensation for current and future WSU employees in the 2023 legislative session.
In addition to obtaining mass salary increases, our team made great strides in expanding
university programming. As a result of their hard work, the Washington Legislature provided over
$2 million in new funding to aid in the development of a cybersecurity degree that will be offered
by the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture at the Everett, Pullman, and Tri‑Cities
campuses. The Legislature also fully funded our joint request with the University of Washington (UW)
to establish a psychiatric pharmacy residency program. Two of our residents will be placed in
clinical settings in eastern Washington in 2023, while UW will place two residents at their
forthcoming mental health teaching hospital. These additional programs will allow us to better
advance our land‑grant mission by providing increased access to fields with a broad societal impact.
I extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication to WSU. For many
of us, this was a year characterized by change as we moved out of isolation and back into our
classrooms and communities. I am proud of the cumulative efforts that have allowed us to engage
without barriers once again, and I appreciate your support in making that happen.
If you are able, I encourage you to take some time this summer to step away from work and
re‑energize. There will be plenty to do come fall, and you will hear all about it in the new
system communication that will debut this August. In a new edition that will be released every
two months, I plan on showcasing the people, projects, and places that make this six‑campus system
uniquely OneWSU. I am sure there will be a lot to highlight, and I look forward to seeing what we
will accomplish together in the next year.
Kirk H. Schulz
Washington State University