PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University is evolving to meet the future needs of an increasingly diverse and growing Pacific Northwest, WSU President Kirk Schulz said Tuesday in his annual State of the University address. 

“We’ve got to continue to evolve. We’ve got to continue to do things differently,” Schulz said. “We’ve got to continue to ask ourselves … just because we did something the same way for 128 years do we want to do it that same way moving forward?” 

Speaking to faculty, staff, students and others gathered in Pullman, and via live-stream to WSU’s other campuses and research centers statewide, Schulz used his third annual address to celebrate recent accomplishments and urge collaboration in reshaping the University’s land-grant role. The address also included a fireside-style chat led by WSU Vancouver Associate Professor Donna Paul. 

We want to make sure we’re asking ourselves the right question,” Schulz said. “What are we doing to make sure we’re advancing the state of Washington and how do we balance that out with our desire to be recognized as a top public international and nationally renowned university?” 

Progress continues to be made in several areas. 

From record enrollment and academic innovation to record research expenditures and fostering development of inclusive campuses, Schulz highlighted several of the University’s accomplishments over the past year. He also announced substantial progress being made toward WSU’s goal of becoming one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities. 

Drive to 25

According to the latest Center for Measuring University Performance metrics, for example, WSU saw significant growth in two areas. The number of WSU faculty receiving prestigious awards climbed 23 spots to 37th in the nation, and the number of doctoral degrees awarded moved up 10 spots to 44th nationally. 

The University now ranks within the top 26 to 50 in all six metrics measured by the national organization. 

Implicit bias training

Schulz also announced a series of efforts designed to promote greater campus inclusivity and help increase the diversity of the University’s faculty and staff. Among them is training to recognize implicit bias, which is in development and will be available for those serving on hiring search committees. The University also will make equity training available throughout the WSU system beginning next fall. 

Video of the full address can be seen on the Experience WSU website. 

Media contact

Phil Weiler, vice president for marketing and communications, 509‑335‑1221, phil.weiler@wsu.edu