SEATTLE, Wash. – Although the Washington State University Board of Regents took no formal actions during a January 25-26 retreat in Seattle, the board issued the statement below following its midyear performance review of WSU President Kirk Schulz.
Statement of WSU Regents commending the job performance of President Kirk Schulz
Following completion of our midyear evaluation of WSU President Kirk Schulz, the WSU Board of Regents unanimously commends President Schulz for his leadership and endorses his ongoing plans for guiding the university to new heights.
Without doubt, we presented President Schulz with a daunting list of opportunities and challenges when he began his duties at WSU on June 13, 2016. That list included expectations that ranged from accelerating WSU’s trajectory to national prominence and advancing the university as an engine of the state’s economy to ensuring access to higher education, supporting the growth and success of students, and strengthening WSU’s financial position.
In all regards, President Schulz has met — and exceeded — the expectations we identified a year and a half ago. His achievements the past six months have been particularly noteworthy. He has led the university to record enrollment, greatly diversified the senior leadership team, and stepped up WSU’s efforts to better serve the state’s needs.
We wish to call particular attention to President Schulz’s leadership in formulating and implementing an initiative to restore the university’s fiscal health. We fully back this initiative.
As Regents, we supported the efforts to advance WSU’s mission the past four years by investing reserve funds in strategic initiatives such as the SPARK building, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, WSU Everett, new athletic facilities, and the new art museum.
But we also fully understood that rebuilding the university’s financial reserves would be critical to WSU’s long-term fiscal health going forward. Thus we requested President Schulz and senior leadership to create and execute a plan to achieve that objective in a manner that would minimize the impact on the university and its faculty, staff and students.
We remain optimistic that by working together systemwide during the next few years, the university will bring spending in line with revenues. Doing so will enable the WSU community to invest in new endeavors that will further our teaching, research and service mission, and the university will be better prepared to educate and support the state’s residents and grow the economy.
We are excited about President Schulz’s vision for WSU as defined by the Drive to 25, the system-wide initiative to become one of the nation’s top public research universities by 2030. Success will elevate WSU’s stature nationally and promises myriad benefits, including heightened interest from prospective students, opportunities for new external research funding and public and private partnerships, a greater willingness of alumni and friends to invest in WSU, a richer educational experience for students, and value added to a WSU degree.
WSU Board of Regents:
- Theodor P. Baseler, chair, WSU Regents
- Ron Sims, vice chair
- Donald K. Barbieri
- Brett Blankenship
- Scott Carson
- Ryan Durkan
- Alyssa Norris (student Regent)*
- Lura J. Powell
- Heather Redman
- Mike Worthy
*Pursuant to a state statute, the student Regent did not participate in the president’s evaluation.