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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 driveto25@wsu.edu.

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.

We need to integrate basic business education as a general requirement of all majors at the university. Just as basic English and math are integrated. All professions are business!

As a member of the International Programs leadership team, I would like to see the focus on WSU a strategically international institution be more prominent in the Drive to 25 goals and subsequent metrics. To this end I’d like to suggest three things:

1. Showcase our international engagement more prominently in all of our Drive to 25 efforts. For example, one of our institutional peers and #18 in the US NEWS rankings, the University of Georgia, describes itself in this way:

With its statewide mission and core characteristics, the University of Georgia endeavors to prepare the University community and the state for full participation in the global society of the twenty-first century. Through its programs and practices, it seeks to foster the understanding of and respect for cultural differences necessary for an enlightened and educated citizenry. It further provides for cultural, ethnic, gender, and racial diversity in the faculty, staff, and student body. The University is committed to preparing the University community to appreciate the critical importance of a quality environment to an interdependent global society.

…while WSU states this:

Diversity and Global Citizenship: We embrace a worldview that recognizes and values the importance of domestic and global diversity, global interdependence, and sustainability.

2. One metric for being a top 25 institution is the number of students studying abroad. The University of Georgia, for example, is ranked 11th among the top 25 universities in the number of students studying abroad. In fact 12 of the top 25 US NEWS ranked universities rank among the top 25 in study abroad participation.

3. Invest in knowing how global our students are. I highly suggest that WSU institute a senior graduation assessment that includes critical measures of global knowledge. We need to be able to demonstrate that we ARE providing a transformative student experience in which students are prepared to lead and excel in a diverse United States and global society.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my ideas.

…..and GO GLOBAL COUGS!

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WSU Administration, primarily in the French Administration building, devalues their staff and are critical of staff’s efforts. Their work is never good enough. There is an overwhelming sense of diminished employee morale and an overall lack of leadership. WSU needs to employ leaders as defined by the true definition. Leaders listen to the opinions of colleagues and regard them as important. Leaders motivate and empower, they do not command or humiliate. Leadership is about playing to strengths and addressing weaknesses in the most efficient way possible. A leader is someone who leads by example and has the integrity to do the right thing. We should not be appointing current employees to higher level positions. What ever happened to following appropriate human resource protocol and posting positions? What happened to hiring the best candidate based on experience, certifications and leadership abilities? Furthermore, these mid to upper level managers should not be rewarded with substantial increases in pay. This is not ethical nor acceptable. Compensation increases have consistently taken place even though we’re clearly in budget deficit. How is this possible? WSU supposedly doesn’t have the budget to compensate or reward our staff but if you’re upper management you’re entitled to a substantial raise? While the staff consistently produces compliant and nearly error-free work, their managers reap the rewards?!?! There has been a huge disparity in raises that cannot be justified. There’s no way an organization can produce at a high level, educationally or professionally with this type of disparity. It is unfair and unethical. WSU needs to invest in their employees, reward them for hard work, employ more staff to decrease the ever increasing workload, there must be consequences for managers who intimidate, retaliate or make unethical decisions. Lastly, WSU must invest in a Human Resources Department who makes accurate decisions based on ethics and employment law. If WSU does not take an internal glimpse at these underlying problems, the Drive to 25 initiative will be difficult to achieve.

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Speaking as a current student, the speed of processing credit cards at the WSUV location needs to be increased dramatically. I understand why the university would like to increase its student population, but increasing the number of students will make the line inside the cafeteria substantially longer than it should be (or already is). Currently, students are spending 15 minutes in line waiting to purchase one single item. The addition of more students will do nothing but increase time spent standing in line waiting to purchase lunch between classes.

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The most pressing concern I have is with the plan to decrease the Athletics deficit. We are an academic institution founded on the basis of research, teaching, and fostering a love of scholarship. If we agree that this is true, then what justification is there for increasing coach salaries and spending precious resources on new football facilities that are unnecessary and expensive? If student fees are to increase, let them only increase to cover academic needs and expenses, not superfluous extracurricular activities.

My concern is also with what seems to be shortsighted budgetary spending. New buildings are being built and planned in order to put on the appearance that WSU is invested in academic success, but in reality, department budgets are being cut, class sizes are being increased, and some departments are not allowed the necessary resources to hire new faculty to keep up with increasing undergraduate numbers. How can instructors foster an academically rich environment when they are short-staffed and given unmanageable class sizes? If WSU’s decision-makers are truly invested in making WSU a top 25 school by 2030, they need to seriously assess financial spending and redirect it towards the academic departments that are successfully engaging in research and increasing their undergraduate and graduate programs, instead of just building beautiful new structures that only act as a facade.

I cannot answer the question of whether I had unlimited dollars to invest, as this is unrealistic and WSU is facing practical problems that need real-world answers. I would recommend seriously assessing and reworking budgetary spending to ensure that academics really does take priority at the university.

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