Five years, hard work, and courageous leadership can do a lot.
Consider where WSU is today as compared to the depths of the recession just five years ago. Then, we reacted to losing half our state appropriation by taking the road less traveled—we set priorities rather than across the board cuts. Today, we sit with a solid geography of campuses (including Everett), approval for a mission-driven medical school as a start-up for the state, and are the 42nd university in the United States to successfully wage a $1 billion campaign of private support.
The Seattle Times was gracious to publish my op-ed submission below on March 4, 2015.
As a vice president at Washington State University with a background in business and academia, and whose portfolio includes public-private partnerships, I am frequently asked why our state’s higher-education institutions do not simply become private schools? State budgets are stretched — isn’t higher education today more of a private than public good anyway?
No, it is not.
It is true that the rewards of college go to the degree-holder, including successful careers, higher incomes and more stable lives. Not to be overlooked, however, is the greater public good generated … » More …
Rarely in my university career have I seen the alignment of ambitions and direction of an entire institution. Built-in freedom of the faculty and the too frequent revolving door of department chairs, deans, chancellors, and presidents usually prevent the creation of any real strategy such as you might see in the private sector. While alignment isn’t everything, it is a start, and I am encouraged by what I see at WSU.
First, we have a president who is on his eighth year. Having gone through the recession and unprecedented budget cuts early in his administration, he and other administrators were able to shape the university … » More …
At a recent meeting of the entire WSU development staff, I was struck by the hunger for communication. What’s happening? Who’s doing what? Where are we going? Being near our successful conclusion of the largest demonstration ever of private support with The Campaign for Washington State University, I can relate to the ‘what’s next’ question. I intend to use this forum to regularly communicate to readers, both internal and external, about the future of the WSU Foundation as a catalyst for WSU’s excellence and growth.
In returning to WSU after a three-year absence, the first question I’ve had is what is our value proposition? I … » More …
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