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Modernization and Improvement
President’s Town Hall: AOI & Global Campus Students

President’s Town Hall: AOI & Global Campus Students


– Okay. Good afternoon, good evening. We’re really thrilled to
have everybody with us today during our Global campus
Town Hall Meeting. And we did our first
one of these last year and had a lot of people
from all over join us and so this year, we’re really thrilled to be able to do it a second time. To all our folks online,
welcome, glad to have you. Let me start off though
by just acknowledging that we’ve had a really successful year this last year at
Washington State University and we really wanna acknowledge all of our faculty, staff and students for all the hard work that they did. As we’re gonna share with you today, lots of terrific accomplishments
for the university. Whether it’s fundraising or our
fiscal health or enrollment. And really, that’s due to a lot of people going the extra mile,
rolling up their sleeves, and making some things happen. Next slide. So, what we wanna do is start off, we’re gonna have several sections of this. The first will be recent achievements that are around the university. After that, then Provost Dan Bernardo will come up and he’s gonna
talk a little bit about the Global campus itself and
some accomplishments in there. Then I’m gonna come up and
talk a little bit about the Drive to 25, some specific goals and objectives about where actually are. And then Dan will sort
of finish up about some key things that we’re
worried about this next year. And then we’ll have plenty
of time for Q and A, we certainly wanna have people type in their questions, send them in and we’ll have ample time
to be able to discuss those. Next slide. Well this last year, we had
a record system enrollment of 31 thousand, four hundred
and seventy-eight students. It’s a record for WSU. And this is everybody that’s
all across our campuses, Global campus, all five
of our physical campuses. And we were up notably, on almost all of our campuses with one exception. We had our largest entering class that we’ve had in university
history in Pullman, with nearly a little over 45
hundred incoming students. Last year, to gain some
perspective in Pullman, we had slightly less than
four thousand students enroll, so we’re up over 500 students this year as freshman class
than we were a year ago. It’s been a core principle to make sure that we also have high numbers of first generation students and high numbers of students
from diverse backgrounds, under-represented minority students. Even with that larger class, we kept the same percentages
as we’ve had previous years, which we’re really proud of. The other thing is we did not drop our admissions standards
to get a larger class. We had more students accept
offers of admission to WSU. Overall, this is something to be proud of. I used to work with
somebody who talked about if every year you could have
at least one more student, it’s said you’ve got
this positive momentum. And really, for us to be
up this high this year, I think says a lot about WSU, our growing academic reputation, and the terrific job our
faculty, staff and students are doing out there recruiting for us. So next slide. We also had one of our best
years ever in fundraising. We raised 145.1 million dollars
in philanthropy last year. To give some perspective,
the highest year we ever had was right under a 170 million
dollars in the last year of the highly successful
billion dollar campaign. This 145 million dollars comes from a large number of donors. What’s notable is we did not have a single gift over 10 million dollars. So what happened is we
had a lot of other gifts that kinda came together to make this our third best year ever. And we expect, if some of the stuff that we’re working on comes to pass, that we should have this next year, probably set an all time
record for fundraising at WSU. We also had record research
and development expenditures over almost 360 million dollars. Just to give some perspective, our faculty are out there
writing better proposals. They’re getting more of these proposals funded for larger amounts. So if we look two years
ago, we had less than 20 proposals submitted from
WSU for over a million dollars. This last year, we had
48 of those proposals submitted for over a million dollars. So shout out to our
faculty for working hard, for competing for winning these dollars. Chris Keen and his shop
continue to do a nice job of providing support infrastructure for larger proposal opportunities
as they move forward. We also had a tremendous
achievement in terms of the university was re-accredited by NWCCA. I’ve been involved in re-accreditation, accreditation if you will,
at the university level across several institutions
over my career. And we had the most positive report that came back from our team. And for those of you online, what this entails is we have a team of like-minded professionals
from across other universities. Provost’s, and President’s, and Dean’s, and different individuals that come and spend several days on campus. After, there’s a long, long report that is put together and assembled. And many of the folks may be within Global campus and others,
really help put that together. This was led by Erica Austin,
of the Provost’s office and she did a great job. Some of the commendations we received were things like the way our faculty staff worked together with
our governance groups, the learning outcomes that we
have in a lot of our classes, the fiscal transparency that we’re operating under as a university
and things like that. This is something that
everybody should feel proud of. We know that we’re doing a good job. It’s always nice to
have colleagues come in and re-enforce and look at
every thing that we do and say, hey, you got a great direction, you’re moving forward in the right way. This next slide really talks about our fiscal health as a university. If I just step everybody
through this really quickly. On one axis there, we’ve got essentially revenues, minus expenditures. So what you’d really like to do is you’d like to be in that
green bar above the zero line. We’ve had five fiscal years,
five consecutive fiscal years where we overspent the
amount of dollars coming in from FY 2014, where there’s
about 22, 23 million to a high of FY 2017 that we’re
nearly 30 million dollars. If you look at the graph,
you can see this last year. We really had a tremendous year. Our target was to reduce that
from 30 million dollars to 20. And instead, we were able to reduce it down to about 8 million dollars. So we had a run-rate
improvement if you will, of nearly 22 million dollars in one year. For those of you who may be watching this, that are on campus, we
had an announcement today. We put it out on social media,
that really talks about this. And I wanna once again, re-emphasize that this is really not the work of the President and the Provost, it’s the work of our faculty
and staff across campus, that rolled up their sleeves. Everybody decided to do a little bit more to make sure that we minimize
the impact on our students. And we had a tremendously, positive year. We still have to get
this back in the black and so we’re gonna continue with our 2.5 percent spending reduction. And we believe next year by this time, we’ll show you for the
first in five fiscal years that we’ll be back in the
black as a university. So, uniformly, positive news here. And with that, Dan will come up and have a chance to speak. – [Dan] Okay, you gonna be my scroller? – Yeah, I’ll do it, I’ll try. – So as we proceed through
our litany of town halls across all campuses and all colleges, we try to feature some
of the accomplishments of each of the campus or
college we’re visiting in. A, so to highlight and
express our appreciation to some of the faculty, staff and students for their great work. And also, we use these
presentations multiple times and it certainly gives
us an interesting collage of the work we’re doing
across all the campuses. Our first that we wanted to feature here at the Global campus, these are things that our Global students are gonna be interested in. Really, it’s our expanded access through new degree programs. And the Global campus
continues to do great work in terms of introducing new degrees. This year, I believe we have four new degrees that we’ve launched. Including an MA in Health Communications, an MA in Music, and Bachelor’s
in Sociology and History. And I believe we have our colleagues here from the Global campus. I think we’re working diligently on four to five new ones for next year, and we’ll continue to build
out those course offerings. We continue to try to work on improving that experience for our students and making sure our students can graduate. And there’s some really great work that goes on in this campus
around retention rates. One of the new programs
is particularly promising. Which really focuses on
bringing back students to the Global campus and
graduating those students. The new Adult Learner Recovery Plan helps to identify students
and helps to provide the necessary resources,
the academic roadmap, easier re-entry, so that
students who happen to leave, for whatever life presents them, can easily come back,
complete their degree, and go on to success. There’s also some great work again, around trying to provide
the complete experience of a WSU student, regardless of whether it’s an online student or located at any of our five physical campuses. We really wanna emphasize the importance of undergraduate research and we wanna definitely
make that available to our online students at similar participation rates as
our on campus students. And this certainly supports
our Drive to 25 metric. You’re gonna hear about the Drive to 25 in just a few minutes. But certainly, one of our metrics is the number of students participating in an undergraduate research experience. And certainly, we want our online students to have that experience and to contribute to that particular metric. And then student involvement. That really is one of the hallmarks I think, of the Global campus. We have great opportunities
for our students. Whether it be virtual career fairs, or the ASWSU online, all
of these great experiences that you can really receive
through the Global campus. And that’s something I
think that really defines our online experience for our students. And I believe last year we had 14 hundred Global campus
student registrations for more than 70 virtual
connection events. And that’s really an outstanding array of opportunities for our students and it really makes a complete opportunity for our online students. With that, we’re gonna
go back to the President and talk a little bit more about the Drive to 25 and specifics. – [Kirk] Well, one of the things that I’m asked about a
lot on our Drive to 25 is where are we? What progress are we making
and things like that. And so, one of the things
that we wanted to do is gain a baseline of that and that’s what we’re gonna
show in these next slides. To begin with though, who do we compare ourselves against as a university? Washington State has a
set of peer universities that we use to look at a lot
of institutional comparisons. And that’s what’s shown on
this map here as you can see, a couple of universities
in the pacific northwest, some sort of in the Midwest, and then a lot of
universities in the southeast. And as a reminder to everybody, these have been our peers for some time. They’ve been approved by the Regents, these are not a new set of universities. The other thing I would point out is these are land grant universities. So if we take these
particular universities, you could say, which of these universities have some of the characteristics that would be equivalent to a top 25 public research university? So we have a set of metrics that we use. And you say, which ones hit the top 25 in some of those metrics? So we have the University
of Maryland at College Park and Purdue University each
have six characteristics out of that measurement set that says that they are a top
25 public research university. Some of the other schools in there, Virginia Tech has three, North Carolina State
two, and Nebraska one. But if we have to pick two of them that we think, hey, those are universities that when we’re done with the Drive to 25, we would most like to look like, it would be Maryland and Purdue. So, let’s cut right to the chase. When people ask about
where we are nationally. What’s shown in this slide here is six of our major metrics. Total research and development, federal R and D, annual giving, number of members of the National Academy, faculty awards, and doctorates awarded. And the number next to
it is where WSU ranks compared to other public
research universities. There’s somewhere, probably 125, 130 public research universities out there, that’s a rough number. And so you can see if we
just look at our ranking in each of those categories, we added up and took an average, we’re at 52. Now, whether we’re 49
or 52 is not important. What it does say is generally, we’re a top 50 public research university and we wanna grow and move ourselves to being a top 25 over the
next essentially, dozen years. So, let’s look at each of those
a little bit more in depth. What I’ll show is a series of graphs here that talk about each of
those different metrics and each of the graphs
will be about the same. What it will show is the actual metric itself in terms of raw numbers. It’ll show the rank of
a lot of those other similar type of peer institutions. They’ll always show a crimson bar, that’ll be where WSU ranks. And then the yellow bar will always be the school
today, that ranks 25th. And so that gives you some sense of how far are we off today of
that 25th ranked institution. So this is total research
and development expenditures and all of this data is taken from the Center for Measuring
University Performance, that’s housed at Arizona State University. They’re not a ranking service, they basically just look and
have a clean data set to use. So in this particular one, if we look at our total R and D, we’re at about 288
million in this ranking, which puts us 49th. The University of Utah, 476 is ranked 25th and you can see where
those other schools are, so we have some work to do. So if we look at, what
are we actually doing, we’re continuing to make sure that we’re being as strategic as possible in the way we handle
institutional investments. And as an example, in high
performance computing, this last year we made some
significant investments into expanding our high
performance computing capabilities that allow more faculty to
submit proposals in those areas. We should also feel pretty
good that in the last, essentially, four years, we’ve gone up by quite a bit in this
particular category. And you’ll see that as
we look at other ones. This next one is annual giving. This is philanthropy
coming into the university. You can see we ranked
number 47 with 106 million. Iowa is ranked 25th at
160 million dollars. This is one where I think
entering our next campaign and Dan will talk about
that a little bit later, we should see some significant growth in this particular area, and I think we can be in the
top 25 here fairly quickly. If we look over the last four years, our annual giving is up 37 percent. So these are all things that we’re actually making nice progress in and if you look at
these historical trends. Excuse me, if you look
at some of the data, what we show actually
lags by a couple years. So we’re actually a little further ahead in some things than it looks like. So we’re gonna keep after this. If I look at Doctorates awarded, you can see here that we’re
281 from WSU, ranked 54th. If we look at the 25th ranked institution, that’s Virginia Tech at 488. So that’s a significant difference. This also kinda highlights
one of the challenges that we have with the Drive to 25. Almost all of these other institutions, Purdue and Maryland and
Virginia Tech and so forth, are much larger institutions that have a much larger group of
research active faculty. And so, one of the things that Dan did as part of an analysis was look at each faculty
member and do some of this on a per faculty member basis. So if we look at things
like Doctorates awarded, our research expenditures
per faculty member, WSU is higher than a lot of our peers, including Virginia Tech and Maryland and Purdue and places like that. So what it says is that our
faculty are doing a great job. We just simple don’t have enough of them to compete with some of
these other institutions. Which means that part of
the Drive to 25 moving ahead has to be some planning to increase the number of
research active faculty. We continue to see nice growth in the graduate degree awards. 1491, and we’re up almost 28
percent in the last four years. So we’re again, seeing some
nice growth in this area. But that per faculty number is something to both be proud of and it’s
an opportunity moving ahead. So let’s look at faculty awards. We had seven and ranked 60th. Texas A and M had 14, ranked 25th. The faculty awards are largely
discipline specific awards. So for example, they could be things like in chemical engineering, or in education in particular areas. They’re typically national
awards won by faculty. There’s a list that CMUP uses that probably has got six or seven hundred different type of awards. So there’s some things that count in here, things like National Science
Foundation Career Awards, Full Bright Awards, where our faculty are going and spending significant time working at a different
university, things like that. We wanna increase that number of awards that our faculty can compete for. And Kelly Ward, before she
passed, in the Provost’s office was really leading a
lot of these initiatives and we need to make sure
that our faculty and staff are already working really, really hard. It’s not like everybody’s got all this extra time to do this. So we need to look at
what can we do centrally to assist in putting forward great nominations for
these different awards. And with that, last thing I’ll say about the Drive to 25 data before Dan starts talking is we don’t want anybody to get discouraged and go well gee, this is a long ways away. I wanna remind everybody,
it’s a long term plan. It’s gonna take us a while to get there. We’re gonna have to tie budgeting, strategic planning,
Drive to 25 all together so we can provide necessary investments so that we can grow some
of these particular areas. I would take this as a baseline. We have lots to be proud of. But I think you always have to stretch yourself a little bit to make sure that we’re growing as a university in a really strategic way. With that, I’ll go back to scrolling. – Well, I’m gonna wrap up with a high priority system goals which you might see from us over the year, what are we gonna be doing? One of the things that
is really kinda cool about this presentation
and I think particularly for some of our online students, is there’s pictures from
all our various campuses and it tells you which campus. So that previous slide
with the beautiful mountain was from WSU Vancouver and on a clear day, you can see three mountains
from one spot at WSU Vancouver, and it was laid out that
way, it’s really cool. This one’s kinda cool too I noticed, because it’s got Book Man on it. One of the students favorites and Book Man hangs out in front of Carol Library, so if you hadn’t been to
Pullman, that’s Book Man. The first high priority goal shouldn’t be really all that surprising. And the three goals that
I’m gonna talk about first really are some of our foundational goals. Things that really are
the bedrock if you will, of our university and what
we’re trying to accomplish. And then the five successive ones will build off of those. So the first one, not
surprisingly, is fiscal health. And we probably talked enough about that. But certainly, you will
continue to hear from us about restoring fiscal health. That’s an important
element of the Drive to 25. We really can’t Drive to 25 until we restore full fiscal
health of the university. So for this year, that really means accomplishing that ten
million dollar improvement in our run-rate to generate actually a run-rate that’s positive, as President Shulz said,
puts us in the black. The second major initiative is
our modernization initiative. For people across our system including in the Global campus that work to help our students receive all kinds of services, the modernization
initiative’s very important. It’s basically our
payroll, HR finance system. We have a very antiquated system and we’re in the process really, of the second year of a process to really bring in a
new enterprise system, and to update all the processes
that accompany that system. It really doesn’t make much sense to modernize your software and then keep your antiquated processes. So this will be an
important initiative for us. It is a big endeavor, but
it will really allow us to accomplish as a university, our aspirations particularly
around growth and innovation. We wanna continue to create a more inclusive and welcoming
campus environment. That includes our virtual
environment as well. But certainly, at WSU, the last year we initiated a rather comprehensive process of really charging
five large work groups to look at our campus climate and various elements
of our campus climate, and make recommendations
about how to improve that. And this will be a year where we see a lot of implementation of the recommendations coming
out of those work groups. So, look for some key initiatives there. Our current strategic plan for
WSU spans from 2015 to 2019, so it’s time to start thinking
about strategic planning. I know for everybody,
that’s really exciting. But it is very, very important because we’re at a
critical point if you will, in the journey of WSU. We’ve done a lot of planning, we’ve done planning associated
with the Drive to 25, associated with our grand challenges and research strategic
plan, around campus climate. We’ll be doing some enrollment
planning here this year. All of those will be coming together really, to build a strategic plan for the WSU system for
the next five years. Erica Austin, from the Provost office, will be leading that endeavor. And of course, we have a
number of academic affairs, priorities, that’s kind of
my department if you will. One of those we’ve already talked about and that is to expand, continue expanding our online offerings. So we will be continuing
with that endeavor. (low speaking voice) Pardon me? – Study abroad. – Oh yes, as I said, we’ll be engaged in an effort to
expand our study abroad to try to continue to increase our study abroad participation
by about 25 percent. We’re gonna be engaged in
a really active effort, a multi-campus effort to really determine our growth trajectory for WSU. So, as we grow over the
next five to eight years, where are we gonna grow? In what programs, on what campuses? How much will online growth account for our overall university growth? So these are important planning efforts and academic efforts. A fourth one that’s really
important for us I believe is we’re developing a plan to increase the number of our tenure
track faculty at WSU. That’s a number that
has kind of stagnated. As we attempt to continue to make progress on the Drive to 25, as
President Shulz eluded to, it’s important that we have
a larger number of faculty to continue to advance
some of these priorities. Particularly, the research metrics. Student safety is a very important, it’s probably thee most important
thing that we do at WSU, regardless of where our
students are located. We wanna assure a safe work place and study place for our students. So we will continue to make efforts and progress in that area. That is multifaceted of course. It addresses issues such as violence and sexual harassment. It addresses issues
like residential health and safety in our residence halls and our Greek life facilities. It addresses things like
transportation safety. One of the challenges we’ve had in Pullman over the last several years is being able to move our students safely in and out of Pullman,
on our rural highways. And so certainly, these type of education and awareness campaigns are really important as
we continue to try to improve student safety
across all of our campuses. And finally, actually, it’s not finally. We wanna finalize our plans for our major fundraising campaign. And President Shulz eluded to this. We are in the planning stages
of our fundraising campaign, really the third major
fundraising campaign for WSU. This is gonna become
more and more critical. Philanthropy has to become a larger share of our total revenue and our budget for
Washington State University. So philanthropy and this campaign will be really kind of launched. You’ll hear a lot more about the planning behind this campaign. We completed in 2015, a billion dollar campaign for WSU and that was successful. This will be an even a larger effort. It likely will be a number perhaps as much as double that
billion dollar campaign, which will be really critical in bringing new programs to our students. New faculty, endowed chairs,
certainly new facilities and technologies for the purpose of advancing our education research
and engagement activities. And finally, this is finally. We’re gonna advocate for our
top legislative priorities. Our two top priorities are enrollment funding for our medical school. So our third and fourth year funding to round out or complete the funding of the medical school endeavor. And then a four percent salary increase for our faculty and staff
across the WSU system. We also have a number of capital requests in front of the state legislature. Won’t go through those in particular and we certainly could address those in the Q and A if people have interest. And that concludes our
formal presentation, but we’d be happy to answer any questions from people here in
the audience or online. (speaking in low voice) Okay. (speaking in low voice) – [Kirk] I think over
the last several years, and it started during Dan’s
tenure as interim President and I think, really started
looking at WSU as a system and not Pullman, with a
bunch of appendages on it. And I think it’s a maturing thing. It’s not something you check the box, or you wake up one morning
and all of a sudden we change. But if we look at the enrollment. We have about a third of our students are not in Pullman, if
you wanna put it that way. We got significant numbers of
students on the Global campus. And so I think if we look
at our future, where we go, to me, I don’t know what those numbers are gonna look like between
the different campus entities. But Global campus, at over
three thousand of our students, that’s not a small enterprise anymore. So, I think if we’re gonna grow, we’ve gotta look at how can we utilize our diversity, geographic
diversity, online diversity that’s gonna bring to
the table, help us grow. It may not all be in Pullman. It may be largely somewhere else and may be largely online. Who knows what that’s
gonna look like exactly? But I think all those components gotta be an integral part of what we do. If I look in the crystal
ball and the future, ideally, what happens is, if you’ve got a subject matter
expert located anywhere, not just around the state,
but around the world, that can interact with WSU students, we should be able to utilize that for a class that’s here in Pullman, that may be offered at
two other locations. And then we’ve got somebody from Europe that’s teaching that class that day because they are the absolute best person to do that particular material. So if I look out there and say, where do we wanna be with our students and the experience they’re gonna have? This is an integral part. Global campus is an
integral part of our future. – Good. – [Online Representative]
So we have a question from Christopher Koons, our Director of Academic Technology and Logistics. He asks, “Given the strong
start on fiscal health, “are there any indicators that we will “continue to exceed subsequent targets “and is there any expectation
that progress would slow?” – That’s a great question. Let me attempt to, and everybody online gets to see that question
or do I need to repeat it? (speaking in low voice) Okay perfect, so a couple things. I think, if I go back a couple years, we had certain units on campus
and individuals and leaders that knew a lot about their
finances of their unit. Some that knew most of it. Some that I think just spent and didn’t really pay
much attention to it. What I think is happened in
the last year in particular, is every single unit leader, whether the department
head, a school director, a dean, a vice president,
they know a lot more now about their money, where they spend it, how they spend it, and are making I think, better fiscal decisions. The reason I mention all that is we were also extremely careful not to do a whole bunch of end-of-the-year budget transfers to make it look better
than it actually is. I mean, you can kinda of
cook the books if you will and everybody goes, oh that’s great. And somebody could say not really because we played some games. We really tried hard to
make sure we were up front, transparent, and that these are permanent types of solutions that people are making. I think we’re just making better fiscal decisions as an institution. I don’t see us backtracking
this next year. And I think as we’re transparent, as people see where their college and unit level budgets are each year. And secondly, as we bring online, a brand new system that’s gonna allow us to know the day somebody
goes negative on an account. I need to be able to call Dave and go hey, this just went negative,
or you ran out of money, it’s February 1st, what’s up? We’re not really able
to do some of that now. So I think we’re putting some
controls and things in place that should also help
us to prevent us from getting back in the same
position as we are now. – [Online Representative]
The next question online comes from Christie Kittle, our Instructional Design Lead. And she asks, “In terms of faculty support “in educational development, “how do we balance both
pedagogical teaching practices, “as well as research efforts
to feed the Drive to 25?” – Go ahead Dan. – Okay. I appreciate that
question because it often comes up when we talk about Drive to 25. And I think the first thing we need to remember about the Drive to 25 is it’s not a research only initiative. There are several very much undergraduate education metrics associated with it. And one of the key, overarching goals is the transformational experience at WSU, or what we’re kinda now calling, the Cougar Student Experience. Until somebody else comes
up with a better name. So we have to balance those. And it’s interesting, we’re evolving as an institution I think,
to better balance those. One way we’ve done that
interestingly enough, is if you look at the faculty, we have a really, really
highly professional, talented group of faculty as a merge, who’s primary responsibility is indeed, the undergraduate educational experience. And those people are actually in the colleges and the departments, actually leading the way for their tenure or senior faculty perhaps. And I think that’s been great because it really has created a more entrepreneurial environment. So, our faculty are expected to do education and research well, if that is indeed, their responsibility. And we have a group who are principally focused on education and delivering the very best product, particularly to our
undergraduate students. So, that balancing act is important. It’s reflected in our culture and we expect, certainly
our tenure track faculty, to deliver on both of those fundamental missions of the university. – [Online Representative]
We have two more questions from online, both coming from students. First from Morgan Atwood who is a Senator with ASWSUG and
Global Cougar Success Manager. She asks, “Going back to fiscal health, “do you know which campuses
are spending the most? “Also, how are you
going to make these cuts “without negatively affecting “lower spending campuses
in quality of education?” – A couple things, which
campus spends the most, that’s gonna be Pullman, just
cause it’s related to size. But in general, just as a reminder, the way it works is,
we’re asking everybody to hold back, cut their
spending by 2.5 percent. And each unit gets to keep those dollars. We’re not sweeping those funds from campuses or units,
or things like that, and moving them centrally. What we’re doing is we’re
allowing each of our units to accumulate if you will,
a war chest, a reserve of dollars that they have control over. Sometimes when people hear cuts, they think of, that the
central administration is going and taking money from units and moving it centrally. I just wanna re-emphasize that. So the dollar amounts then, are variable across the campuses or units, depending on their budget and size. So, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the Pullman campus
are gonna be expected to contribute more dollars
to closing that deficit down than the Tri-Cities campus would, or the Everett campus that
are just much smaller. So, we’re trying to balance that out. But again, I think what’s happening is people are just making
really critical decisions and are sometimes using the fact that we’re having to make
some spending decisions to make some very challenging
leadership decisions about are we still gonna do something that might’ve been nice
to have and not required, for us to be excellent. And so, I believe we’re gonna come out of this better fiscally, we’re gonna come out of
this with better processes, we’re gonna come out of it with the right people and the right
spots on the bus if you will. – [Online Representative]
We have one more question currently from Sheridan
Ingles, another student. A member of ASWG Senator
and S and A fee committee. She asks, “As online universities “are becoming more popular, “what is your plan to make WSU Global “stand out among the rest?” – Yeah, that’s a great question and thank both of the two students who ask questions for their service on Global campus student government. And that’s one answer, right? That’s a really perceptive question. This is a very, very competitive space. And I think what we do incredibly well, and perhaps better than anybody, is provide our online students
the Cougar experience. Our online students are Coug’s. Some of these other online endeavors, I bet the student couldn’t even
tell you who the mascot was. So I think our students do
get a unique experience. Things like the online ASWSU,
or ASWSU Global campus, the online career fairs,
the virtual mentors. I mean these are all really
excellent experiences. I talked a little bit about
some of the other activities in terms of getting our students involved in undergraduate research. Those are all experiences that
I think will set us apart. We are not trying to be the high volume, low cost, provider of online education. We don’t feel that’s our market space and we don’t think that’s
what the students want of us. They want a very high quality degree that allows them the flexibility to access that degree anywhere and anytime, and that’s really the
unique characteristic. The whole Global campus
staff and administration do just a really great job of thinking about incredible innovations that who would’ve thought of having, not me for sure, an online
or a Global campus ASWSU? So these type of things I believe, will really differentiate us. Another important differentiator, perhaps thee most important is these are WSU faculty. You’re learning from the same
faculty that our students in Vancouver, or Pullman
are learning from. And that’s something
again, very different. Very different value proposition than you’re receiving
from the four profits and even some of the large not-for-profits that you hear advertised
on the radio all the time. – The one thing I would
add to that is language and the way we talk about
ourselves does matter. And we talk about ourselves frequently as a six campus system. And we talk about the Global
campus alongside Pullman, and Tri-Cities, and Vancouver,
and Spokane, and Everett. And I think it’s important that we don’t look upon it as Pullman and these appendages as I mentioned. And so for example, we don’t talk about branch campuses anymore, we have campuses. And you can say well, “Kirk,
that’s just a semantics, “does that really matter?” I think it does because people start looking at things differently
in that particular format. So Dan gave a very
thorough answer to that. So we’re proud of our Global campus, we’re proud of our Global campus students. And we wanna make sure
that nobody ever perceives a Global campus degree
as like a light degree. Gee, that’s not quite as rigorous, or you didn’t have the
same exact experiences. Well the experiences may be
different, but guess what? It’s all part of being a Cougar and a Cougar can be somebody who sets foot in Washington one time, when they wanna go to graduation and celebrate getting a degree and we gotta be okay with that. Any other questions? Yes. – I’m gonna go back to
fiscal health a little bit. – Oh sure. – So, as we’re building our reserves, is there going to be a mechanism for us to possibly tap
in to those reserves, or mechanism to propose using them for certain initiatives
that are important to… – [Kirk] Yeah, like the
president’s discretionary fund, that’s always a really good
reason to tap into reserves. They eat a lot for a little dog. A couple things. One is Stacy Pearson
is going to be working with the fiscal health advisory committee. And what we wanna do is
set a percentage of budget or something like that that
should be built up in reserves. So, instead of saying everybody has to have X millions
of dollars in reserve, it would be a percentage of your budget. And then the idea is
that that would be left, there would be some discretion
at the VP or Dean level about when to use those dollars. And if you used a lot of them up, then you would have to have a plan to kinda rebuild them a little bit. Sometimes two people are
generating a lot of revenue and they can get to a
point where you say hey, you need to spend some, or we need to do some investment here because you’re accumulating too much. So, I think over this next year, is when those discussions will take place in a very, very meaningful way. And I think once we get back in the black, certainly units, and there’s several, that have a significantly
positive reserve balance, and they’re ready to launch
programs and do things, and we need to allow those
units to be able to do that. – And I think that’s an important point is that that’s really
automatically happening as a result of theses
expenditure reductions. The units are accumulating reserve, many units are accumulating reserves. I can say just yesterday,
or I guess Friday, I was having a meeting with my finance guy and I was like, what is this number? He says, “Well, that’s our reserve.” I was like, really? (laughter) And that’s gonna automatically happen as we continue to reduce spending, but it’s not getting clawed back. So there will be two parts of that. There will be the part that’s sort of controlled centrally and
allocated strategically, but a lot of units are gonna
have dollars available, including this one, I would guess. They’re gonna have dollars available to start parsing out and allocating to their own strategic initiatives. – Well, we’ll thank you. We appreciate both the
people here physically. Most of the time, last
year when I did this it was me and my laptop and a headset. This feels a little different
with some real people there, but the folks online,
thank you for joining us and participating and asking questions. We’re very proud of the Global campus and we’re proud of our
Global campus students, and we wanna make sure
that we do everything that we can to support you, so thank you. – And we probably should thank people for their patience with our technology because we had a little bit of a problem with the form of our power points, so we kinda had to scroll through, but hopefully, that worked for people and they still had the
same quality of experience. – Great, go Coug’s. – Go Coug’s. (light jazz melody)

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