There’s no doubt that Washington State University transforms lives and betters society.
The evidence is abundant and diverse. It ranges from a recent ranking that identifies WSU as the top public college in the nation for providing a transformative education, to research that produces cutting-edge replacement materials for aging or injured joints and bones.
Another example can be found in the green energy solutions for the aerospace industry and cleaner air created by our researchers. Perhaps the most delicious evidence is WSU’s new apple variety, Cosmic Crisp, which is creating a never-before-seen demand for licenses among growers who seek a great tasting, non-browning apple.
I am equally convinced that much of the nation is largely unaware of Washington State’s remarkable accomplishments and how we improve lives. When people talk about top public research universities, the incredibly talented faculty, staff, and students of our statewide enterprise should be part of the conversation on a regular basis.
Being included in these conversations is important—and not just in terms of Cougar Nation bragging points. Growing our reputation is essential for our University to attract students, garner external research funding, and establish new partnerships locally, nationally, and globally. Ultimately, our successes prepare the workforce, solve tough societal challenges, and deliver innovations and discoveries that improve our state, nation, and world.
It is with these considerations and impacts in mind that we will embark on the “Drive to 25.” I propose a broad ranging and measurable goal to guide us system-wide for the next decade:
Washington State University will be recognized as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement by 2030.
The Drive to 25 builds on the cornerstones of our institutional Strategic Plan and its two pivotal goals:
- WSU will offer a transformative educational experience to undergraduate and graduate students
- WSU will accelerate the development of a preeminent research portfolio
Realizing our shared vision will require a commitment from all of us to excel in what we do and how we do it. Our milestones will be defined by how well we capitalize on our strengths, seize opportunities, and embrace audacious excellence. Together, we will climb to new heights as we elevate WSU and spread the word about how the University benefits future generations.
I’m truly excited, and proud, to launch this effort. I look forward to engaging you in discussion focused on this vision during a series of campus-wide town hall-style discussions, which Provost Dan Bernardo and I will host in September and October.
Kirk H. Schulz, President
Washington State University