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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.

The College of Education recently phased out the higher education leadership track within their Educational Leadership program. I call attention to this because I think it has important relevance to WSU’s Drive to 25 efforts. We need a robust HE leadership program here at WSU in order to train a cadre of informed, thoughtful, innovative higher education leaders. A great number of WSU’s current leadership is comprised of graduates of this program! In the absence of a HE program, we have no opportunities for aspiring HE leaders. I urge President Schulz and others to reconsider how the re-establishment of a higher ed leadership program could serve to strengthen all branches of the institution both in the immediate and long-term future!

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Research faculty members need more teaching release options. Their teaching should also always be restricted to two days a week. Switching back and forth between Tu/Thurs and MWF is terrible for productivity because it requires more prep for classes that have been prepped for one or the other format. Personally, my productivity is also much higher with a two-days-a-week schedule, even though the actual hours in the classroom are the same as MWF. Teaching load for research faculty should be reduced to 2-1, which would make us consistent with top public research schools. In sum, we can’t be expected to become a top public research institution when we have research faculty members teaching like they would in a lower tiered public school.

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I am the faculty MBA director in Tri-Cities, where masters-level education is a big part of what we do across programs. I don’t see masters degrees being widely mentioned; it would be better to see it addressed as a specific strength/thing we do.

My immediate challenge in contributing to these goals is that my access to doctoral teaching and thus doctoral students is limited by my location. There are also inequities in how I receive other kinds of research support. I have been able to negotiate travel and data, but my colleagues in Pullman have access without having to bargain.

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I know you were probably not expecting to hear from a “former” employee, but I’ll always be a Coug, in mind, heart, and support — no matter where I work & reside in the world. One aspect I’d like to add for discussion and consideration under the initiative-umbrella of “Drive to 25”, is the vision of increased retention & completion through the strengthening of programs & services provided through Career Services. There are soo many students who simply give up on their dreams and let go of their rope-of-hope, because they’re not sure of what they want to do in life, nor are they “fully” aware (in a comprehensive way) of all the professional occupations within any chosen “Career Field”. Many students are not aware of how certain academic majors link, and/or prepare them for highly skilled occupations, or higher wage jobs. In essence, many students don’t know “how” to prepare for the workforce, and we all know and can agree, that the 4-6 years that a “traditional” aged students spends on college campus, provides daily opportunities for growth and increased knowledge “Career Fields”, “Occupations”, and “Professional Development”. The federal government has recreated “16 Career Clusters”, (Agriculture/Food & Natural Resources, Architecture & Construction, Arts/AV Tech & Comm’s, Business Management & Administration, Education & Training, Finance, Government & Public Administration, Health Science, Hospitality & Tourism, Human Services, Information Technology, Law/Public Safety/Corrections & Security, Manufacturing, Marketing, Science/Tech/Engineering & Math, and Transportation/Distribution & Logistrics…..and within each one of these “Career Clusters” are thousands of “Occupations”, many of which your average college-going 18-20yr. old has never heard of in their lifetime. If you can “broaden the perspective” of careers, majors, and development for “ALL” students, within the first 1-3 semesters of attendance, we’d see drastic drops in percentages of students being undecided/undeclared/and not-devoted to their studies. I’m fully aware of WSU’s central “Career Services” offices, and they’ve truly done a good job for many years. However, moving forward in the spirit of “Drive for 25”, Washington State University needs to implement a “Career Services Unit/Office” within every single college on campus, so that you end up with ten or so Career Service Units, that engage students with services at a very high rate, and career, occupations, and development information becomes accessible at “all” points of campus, and works to the interests, issues, and pace of that particular college dept., while also increasing inter-department collaboration, planning, and communication between career services, faculty, students, and the Industry leaders and representatives. This past summer, I was offered the opportunity to join the Academic Advising & Career Development Units at California State University Fresno, and I serve as a Transitional Advising specialist. During my nearly 15 years of service at Washington State University, I worked with multicultural students, economically disadvantaged students, first-generation students, student-athletes, covering the full spectrum of helping students to learn about college, going to college, staying in college, developing in college, graduating from college, and identifying a career path from college. Truly, I know what it looks like when a student is doing all the right things to succeed, and I know what it looks like when a student is being exposed to things that lead to failure. I have over 10,000 (ten-thousand) hours completed, working (one-on-one and face-to-face) with WSU students from all walks of life. Yes, my feedback and advice is “empirical” in method, but it’s accurate. I know it is, and I’m just asking you all to think of retention strategies in “new” & “dynamic” ways. Thanks for you time!! Best Wishes, and Go Cougs, forever!!

Brother, James M. Bledsoe

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