After serving for nearly a year as Interim Co-Provosts, we will return to our regular duties on June 13 as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. On that date, Kirk Schulz will formally assume his role as President of Washington State University, and Interim President Dan Bernardo will resume his position as Provost and Executive Vice President.
It has been an honor and a privilege, as well as a substantial responsibility and challenge, to step into Dan Bernardo’s formidable Provost shoes for a while. With occasional, welcome guidance and advice from Dan, we both did our best to maintain forward progress for the office and the university, and now we all look forward to Dan’s return to the Provost Office.
Washington State University has made important progress during this interim year thanks to the additional time and efforts you have dedicated to advancing our shared University goals. We know it has been a busy year for all, and we thank you for your dedication.
Here are a few highlights just from the past six months:
- Early this year, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research issued RFPs for both Strategic Reallocation Grants, and Seed grants supporting Grand Challenges research and Student Success The respective Seed Grants were issued last month and the Strategic Reallocation Grants will be announced by June 15.
- Exceptional faculty were honored at each men’s home basketball game through the Featured Faculty program, and we also highlighted faculty members at our home football games in the fall. This spring, in partnership with Athletics, the Faculty Crimson Club, was launched to support faculty members in networking and collaborating with colleagues and administrative leadership in an informal atmosphere.
- Many faculty, staff and students partnered to launch Student Success initiatives and projects this spring, including: the SSC Campus advising platform and the myWSU mobile app.
- In partnership with ASWSU and faculty members, a task force addressed the need to reduce classroom material costs for WSU students. The task force has just reported its recommendations for next steps to the Office of the President, which has strongly endorsed the proposals.
- The Invest in Success program, which offers qualifying students a 400 percent interest rate on their savings (capped at $4,000 in matching funds), as well as financial literacy training, doubled in size and is now open to WSU students in Vancouver and Tri-Cities.
- The Distinguished Scholarships Program continued its outstanding work with WSU undergraduate students. The program helped foster two Fulbright Scholars in 2016: Travis King and Justin Niedermeyer.
- The Strategic Plan Progress Report offered updates on our advancement toward Strategic Plan fulfillment, and a Town Hall Meeting in April offered the University community a chance to gain insights and ask questions about the Plan and our progress.
- In January, Dr. Peter Goldmark, Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands, delivered the inaugural Provost’s Invited Address. The event drew a standing-room only audience in the CUB Junior Ballroom.
We look forward to doing whatever is needed to assist President Schulz and Provost Bernardo in achieving a smooth transition of leadership this month. We thank all faculty, staff, students, and Cougar Nation members for their encouragement and support over the past year. We are excited about the future of Washington State University and the dynamic leaders in place to lead our great institution.
We sincerely wish you all the best in 2016-17. Go Cougs!
Erica Weintraub Austin and Ron Mittelhammer
If you have questions, comments, or feedback on this post, or other matters concerning the Office of the Provost, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.