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Your ideas and constructive criticism related to the Drive to 25 initiative is invited. In fact, it’s essential to our success. Achieving Top 25 stature truly requires an ongoing dialogue and the involvement of the entire WSU community.

So please share examples of Top 25-like WSU achievements, ideas about how we can better communicate our successes, and other thoughts, such as:

  • If you could make one change that would make WSU a top 25 by 2030, what would it be?
  • Is there a topic, research area, partner, or student success opportunity that you think WSU should be engaging but isn’t? What is it and why?
  • Imagine you had unlimited dollars to invest, and the only requirement was that you had to use the money to help WSU do a better job of fulfilling its land-grant mission of teaching, research, and engagement. How would you spend that money?

We look forward to publishing comments in this space. You may share your input anonymously. If you prefer to email your thoughts, please send them to

Note: Feedback of any nature is welcome. Comments regarding the Drive to 25 initiative will be published here. All other input will be forwarded separately to the Office of the President for consideration.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! Your feedback is awaiting moderation.

I think few would argue against the notion that WSU faculty will serve as the engine that powers our “drive to 25.” Given the crucial role played by faculty in this endeavor, is the administration prepared to compensate faculty at the same level as faculty in other “top 25” institutions? Compensation will be a major factor not only in attracting the best researchers to WSU but also retaining those of us who might be offered attractive options elsewhere over the next 10-20 years. If the resources are not there to obtain and retain “top 25” faculty by paying them at the same level as other top 25 schools, I fear we might not get past the end of the driveway. In fact, this plan might even backfire if an unintended consequence is that it provides an incentive for top faculty to actively seek out those better paying positions rather than do the same amount of work for less pay here. Given the reality of our location and our current ranking, it is going to be a long drive for WSU, which means that we need to take care of our engine if we have any hopes of making it to our destination. So, before we begin to pack the trunk and strap the kids in their car seats, what is the plan for bringing faculty pay in line with our “top 25” aspirations?

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I would like to see an IT system of reporting vendor needs. Business CRM aside we have many individual offices/depts that contract with third party vendors for single units that would benefit the rest of the institution. I am thinking Salesforce, Academic Works, Event management etc… If a unit knew a college was looking for a scholarship management database, event management software or career placement tracker we could pool our resources to benefit the greatest good and not just develop our fiefdoms and silos or not purchase at all. Many third party vendors are cost prohibitive for single units/college and we end up buying no solution or the cheapest solution instead of pooling our needs and resources to get the best solution to gain the greatest benefit and share resources. Maybe IT or business affairs has something like this, if so please share what that process is. This drive is going to be an expensive one but if we can carpool we can sure save our environment. Who doesn’t like a good road trip with a car full of friends as opposed to driving solo. I all in for this Drive, and I will enjoy working and watching us get there, thank you Dr. Kirk for asking for and allowing this feedback, there are a lot of good ideas within. Go Cougs! Thank you for your time.

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1. Class ranking seems to have gone down for pharmacy school and has a lower NAPLEX score (passing role) compared to UH. I think it needs improvement. UW has 100 percent passing rate. WSU has about 91 percent passing rate. It would be great to be at 100 percent rate too.

2. The diversity application is a good push. It would be great for students (minorities) to be able to look up to a professor that looks like them. For instance there is no black professor in WSU pharmacy school. It would be great to have this for other black students to morally or psychologically look up to someone that is a professor or that they can relate to.

3. The professor/teachers in WSU are great and are always willing to help students any time it is requested.

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Simply counting the number of Ph.D. students graduated without a corresponding Ph.D. quality metric is destructive to the university, as it tacitly encourages faculty to graduate Ph.D. students without the quality publications that should be required of every Ph.D. student. We need to count the average number of publications by Ph.D. students in high impact journals, and institute a minimum publication requirement for graduation. We also should track where our Ph.D. students go after graduation. The goal should be to place our Ph.D. students in academic positions at comparably or higher ranked institutions, or in highly visible and prestigious positions in industry.

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Strengthening our faculty is key to achieving this aim, and I was encouraged to read in the town hall transcripts that the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs position is being reconfigured to focus primarily on faculty development. I would recommend an external search for this position. As any historian would say, context matters, and we therefore need someone with the courage to address campus context as a real factor affecting faculty work across the WSU campuses.

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