Hello Tri-Cities Cougs!

I have been here for about five weeks now and wake up every day more excited than the day before that I have joined WSU Tri-Cities. I am continuously impressed with the talented faculty, staff and students, as well as the dedicated and supportive alumni, community members, donors and supporters. If I have not met with you yet, I look forward to doing so!

For those of you who do not know much about me, I came here from Metropolitan State University of Denver where I served as a tenured professor, department chair, associate dean, dean and finally, deputy provost and vice president of academic affairs. My education is in psychology and my Ph.D. was in experimental neuropsychology with a re-specialization in counseling psychology. My education and experience has taught me that the best asset an organization has is its people. WSU Tri-Cities is certainly no different — the WSU community continually raises the bar. Cougars in the Tri-Cities and across America make me proud to be a part of this community.

As no surprise to you all, I come to WSU Tri-Cities at a time of change. Our campus is growing with the addition of the Student Union Building, campus apartments and record enrollment. The campus also continues to become more diverse. It is vital that we keep pace with the changes and prepare for a bright future for WSU Tri-Cities. Good preparation takes planning. This summer and fall, we will begin our strategic planning process and we will request your feedback and comments during the new academic year. Because we are part of the Tri-Cities community, it will take input from not only our dedicated faculty, staff and talented students, but also supporters, alumni and partner organizations. I want to make sure that all of our stakeholders have the opportunity to weigh in and be part of this collaborative process. Please be on the lookout for ways in which to engage and provide your input on creating this campus strategic plan.

In my short time on campus, I have already noticed that we have a strong base and reputation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Given our history, this is understandable and will be an important part of our campus vision. We cannot, however, ignore that the campus is more than STEM. We are STEM+. I look forward to ensuring that all of our programs are represented and that we continue to serve our graduates and our community by offering programs in business, the arts and others that graduate students who will enter the workforce ready to tackle the problems of the 21st century.

Again, I’m looking forward to learning and knowing more about you all and our “pride” of Cougars at WSU Tri-Cities.

Go Cougs!

Sandra Haynes, Ph.D., Chancellor