Welcome back! We are excited to embark on the fall semester and anticipate a dynamic year for our great University.

As an alumnus of WSU, I am honored to serve as provost and provide the academic leadership to advance our land-grant mission, which centers on providing our students a transformational educational experience. I value the opportunity to partner with our faculty, staff, and students to foster a welcoming, supportive, and safe learning environment at Washington State University.

The Office of the Provost mourns the loss of Dr. Kelly Ward, vice provost for faculty development and recognition, who tragically passed away after an accident in early July. We will miss Kelly’s enthusiasm, expertise, and commitment to faculty development. During this academic year, most of Kelly’s responsibilities will be covered by provost’s office personnel. We will initiate an internal search for her position during the spring semester.

This fall, we will welcome the largest freshman class to the Pullman campus in WSU history. New transfer students are also projected to increase by about 10 percent over last year. Not only has the size of our incoming class increased, but all measures of academic preparedness of these students continues to rise. The average GPA of these students will exceed 3.4, the freshman cohort will include over 100 percent more Regents Scholars, and we will have a record number of Honors College students and 30 percent more Future Cougars of Distinction (GPA over 3.7 and Q-value over 2,750).

As we begin our fall semester this week, I would ask that everyone go the extra mile to welcome the new members of the Cougar nation to our campus. WSU is known to be a welcoming, tight-knit community, and we need to demonstrate this every day as these students begin their higher education journey. If you see a student or parent, please welcome them to campus and if they look lost or are looking at a map, stop and offer assistance. These small gestures can go a long way in assuring our students feel welcome.

Please check your email inbox for our monthly newsletter, Provost Perspective. It’s filled with timely news, events, and insights from the Office of the Provost and around WSU.

Thank you for all that you do for WSU and for making our community a welcoming one for students and providing them a vibrant educational experience.

Go Cougs!