Floyd outlines his plans in university address




President’s Address pulls strong attendace in Bryan Auditorium


Photos by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services
PULLMAN – President Elson S. Floyd mapped out a strategy designed to make WSU one of the nation’s leading public land-grant research institutions in his State of the University address Monday.

Floyd, who became WSU’s 10th president in May 2007, said the university must focus on areas of strength and leverage its investments to maximize its positive impact.

“We simply cannot be all things to all people. We need to focus on excellence and quality in all that we do,” Floyd told an audience gathered in Bryan Hall on the Pullman campus. The speech was also video-streamed to sites on the Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses and in Seattle.

Floyd said, in establishing ambitious goals, the university is being true to the vision of its founders.

He said, “They did not want this institution – begun in a remote corner of Washington with a few hearty students — to be considered just a technical or agricultural school. As President Enoch Bryan told the regents in 1894, the land-grant college must provide ‘collegiate work that is advanced scientific and technical work, and a liberal education.’”

Floyd said it is even more vital today for the state to have two outstanding research universities. He discussed a wide range of initiatives that the university has undertaken during his tenure to build on its strengths in undergraduate and graduate education, in research and in extension.

Among the changes that he highlighted in his speech was the appointment of John Gardner as vice president of economic development and extension to oversee the university’s outreach efforts; the appointment of Viji Murali as vice president for information services to enhance the university’s high-tech infrastructure and the appointment of John Fraire as vice president for enrollment management to continue the university’s growth both in enrollment numbers and diversity.

Floyd outlined an ongoing process, being led by Provost and Executive Vice President Robert Bates, to examine the university’s programs and reallocate resources to areas of highest priority. He acknowledged that process would not be easy, but, he said, “We must be strategic in all that we do to maximize our competencies in the support of our centers of excellence. Our mantra must always be excellence and quality.”

Floyd talked about efforts to build on programs at each of the university’s campuses. At WSU Spokane, he has asked Chancellor Brian Pitcher to lead an effort to create a model of a comprehensive health sciences network of services and programs.  At WSU Tri-Cities, he said the campus will become a leader in clean technologies through its partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and development of the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory. Floyd predicted that WSU Vancouver would continue its growth into a traditional comprehensive campus serving undergraduate, transfer and professional students.

In Pullman, Floyd pointed to the effort to build on research strengths in agriculture and, through the establishment of the School of Global Animal Health, in veterinary medicine.

“The reason is very simple. We have the obligation to advance the science and discoveries in these vital areas. For, if we fail to do so, there is no other educational institution charged with this mandate,” Floyd said. He said the continued success of the state’s food and agriculture industry depends on WSU research.
Erica Ausin, interim director and professor, Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, offers comment and question
Floyd acknowledged that his agenda for the university is an aggressive one.

“But we will not fulfill our potential as an institution, we will not keep faith with the vision of those who came before us, by taking half-steps or half measures,” he said.

The archived video-stream of the speech can be found at http://www.experience.wsu.edu/NewSite/Index.aspx 
The full text of the President’s State of the University Address is now online in HTML and PDF formats at  http://president.wsu.edu/state_of_the_university_address/022508.html
Floyd greets Linda Kirk Fox, dean of WSU Extension, right
Michael Delahoyde, English professor, talks with Floyd after speech
Ken Struckmeyer, chair of the Faculty Senate, opens and closes event with a smile

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