Washington State University is charting a path forward for how a system of multiple campuses and other facilities throughout the state can continue growing together, both philosophically and operationally, while advancing the land grant mission of education, research and commitment to the communities it serves.

In a message to faculty and staff Wednesday, President Kirk Schulz and Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton outlined the steps taken so far to further develop the WSU system.

“It is important that we base the path forward on the principles and commitments outlined in the WSU system strategic plan and that they reflect the insights contained in the roles and responsibilities report completed in June,” Schulz and Chilton wrote.

To spark further discussions around the ONEWSU System concept, the message includes links to two new white papers:

  • The ONEWSU System – An overview of the ONEWSU concept with insights on how the systems of peer institutions function as well as describing the need to separate and define the roles and responsibilities of the current dual jobs of the WSU system president and WSU Pullman chancellor.
  • Evolution of the ONEWSU System – Proposals on how WSU can achieve its highest possible level of operational excellence across the system by separating functions and process between the system and campuses to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. Giving campuses more autonomy around the tenure and promotion process as well as new academic program development and a timeline for system optimization are also outlined.

The message also includes several responses to frequently asked questions put forward by community members that have read the documents so far. Additional feedback can be provided on the Faculty Senate blog or through a feedback form.

Members of the WSU community should expect additional white papers on the proposed structure of the evolved WSU system in the months ahead. Student affairs, research, finance and administration and health sciences are among the topics being looked at.

“Change is difficult and can bring with it significant apprehension,” Schulz and Chilton wrote. “However, this moment in our institutional history offers an opportunity to work together to expand and enhance the University’s ability to serve our state and our region while advancing the WSU community’s longstanding desire to strengthen the ONEWSU concept.”