Photos by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services
WSU President Elson S. Floyd said the university is poised for progress and success, despite the possibility of difficult economic times ahead, in his State of the University address delivered Wednesday at the Bryan Hall Theater on the Pullman campus.
“I urge each and every one of you to have confidence in uncertain times,” said Floyd, who became WSU’s 10th president in May 2007.
President Elson F. Floyd greets faculty and staff  at State of  University address
“WSU is entering into a new era of change and vitality.  We will need everyone’s support to make this vision happen.  I want one university for and of all of the constituents of this university.  I want the promulgation of policies that enhance the entire institutional climate for all of our faculty, staff, TA’s and graduate and undergraduate students alike.  We are after all a community – a collective – with a common purpose unified around academic excellence and preeminence,” Floyd said. (To watch a videostreamed recording of the president’s address, click on the following link.)
The WSU president stressed the central role of the university’s faculty both in building the university’s reputation and in leading the way to the progress that he sees ahead.
“Let me be clear:  we must protect our academic priorities; we must protect our current employees, and we must never apply budget reductions across the board for to do so puts us in a circumstance of mediocrity, and mediocrity is unacceptable,” Floyd said.
The president said, by taking steps earlier this year to limit hiring and other expenditures, WSU has put itself in better position to deal with any budget reductions that might lie ahead.
William Cofer, Faculty Senate chair
William Cofer, Faculty Senate chair, introduces Floyd
Floyd recounted many of the institutional and individual accomplishments of the university in recent months – record enrollment and fundraising; the opening of the new Compton Union Building in Pullman and the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory in the Tri-Cities; establishment of the new School for Global Animal Health and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
He also cited a number of faculty members who had received major grants, including an $8 million defense grant to the Applied Science Laboratory in Spokane that was announced Wednesday and a $3.69 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the representation and advancement of faculty women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
Floyd played to a nearly packed house of interested faculty, staff and students
Floyd pointed to the university’s revised strategic plan, recently approved by the Board of Regents, and said that it would provide direction for the university’s future. The plan is built around four tenets: To achieve national and international preeminence in innovation, discovery, and creativity; to provide a premier education and transformative experience that prepares students to excel in a global society; to lead in relevant local, national, and global outreach and engagement; and to embrace an environment of diversity, integrity, and transparency.
Floyd acknowledged that he had focused public attention on several programs of excellence during his first year as president – including veterinary medicine, agriculture and communications.  He said he planned to expand that focus in the upcoming year to highlight additional areas of excellence.
“To all of you who are part of the WSU team, we are going to do everything in our power to support your activities,” he said.


WSU Regent Ken Alhadeff, middle, gives thought to Floyd’s comments


Floyd also said he and wife Carmento planned to fund a student scholarship at WSU.
The speech was broadcast to the Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses and at WSU West in Seattle and was webstreamed on-line.
To watch a videostreamed recording of the president’s address, click on the following link.
A view from the Bryan Hall balcony
Media seeks additional comments from Floyd after his address