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Office of Outreach and Education

Photo of a building and fountain at WSU Vancouver.

Systemwide Resources

  • WSU & the Office of Outreach and Education

    Introduction to WSU & the Office of Outreach and Education

    Founded in 1890, WSU is truly a statewide institution, with a presence in every county in the state. Campuses are located in Pullman, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and in Everett. WSU’s Global Campus is a door that connects the world to WSU and WSU to the world, online. It is one of the oldest land-grant universities in the American West and features programs in a broad range of academic disciplines.  With total student enrollment at roughly 30,000 students, including over 1,750 international students, it is the second largest institution of higher education in Washington state.

    As Washington State University becomes one of the nation’s leading land-grant research universities that models, for the state and nation, a community where every person, regardless of difference, is valued and included, the Office of Outreach and Education is committed to becoming a department dedicated to recognizing diversity and inclusion as essential to achieving excellence.​ Essential to Washington State University’s public, land-grant tradition of service to society, the mission of the Office of Outreach and Education is to promote, create, and sustain an inclusive campus and community environment through education. The Office of Outreach and Education will achieve this by fostering collaborative partnerships, engaging cultural differences, promoting dialogue, advancing knowledge, and providing community spaces.​ The Office of Outreach and Education at Washington State University (WSU) defines diversity as difference of identity and human experience including but not limited to: sex, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, ability/disability, sexual orientation, language, religion, national origin, citizenship, socioeconomic status, and military status.​ Throughout our nation’s history, certain social groups within these categories of difference have been marginalized within higher education. Overcoming these legacies of underrepresentation requires a commitment to cultivating an inclusive environment, with special attention to historically excluded social groups. ​To maximize the educational benefits of a diverse campus community, institutions must foster inclusion, defined as the active engagement and learning across difference. The Office of Outreach and Education recognizes that this requires community building that engages multiple perspectives and voices. Thus, the Office seeks to provide enriching curricular and co-curricular opportunities that increase awareness, understanding, and knowledge of diversity. Creating and sustaining an ethic of inclusion at WSU is a vital component to maintaining educational excellence throughout our institution.

  • Land Acknowledgement and Memorandum of Understanding

    Land Acknowledgement and Memorandum of Understanding

    WSU Pullman is located on the ancestral homelands of the Palus people and ceded lands of the Nez Perce Tribe, while WSU Vancouver is housed on traditional Cowlitz lands, WSU Tri-Cities on ceded lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, and WSU Spokane on historical Coeur d’Alene tribal lands bordering with the Spokane Tribe. Each of the tribes that are signatory to the MOU (described below) are either located within the borders of what is today the state of Washington or their aboriginal territories included areas that are now within the boundaries of the state of Washington. Their presence on this land is since time immemorial.

    In 1997, Washington State University President Samuel Smith signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) with six local American Indian tribes: The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon and the Kootenai, Coeur d’Alene and Nez Perce in Idaho. In 1998, two more tribes signed the MOU: The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, followed by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in 2002, and the Kalispel Tribe in 2013. Most recently, the Spokane Tribe signed on to the MOU in November 2015 and the Quinault Nation in October 2016.

    The MOU states that, together with the signatory tribes, WSU wishes, “to create a structure to strengthen the relationships between them, and to improve the quality of educational services and opportunities provided” and to, “increase access to, and Native American Achievements at, WSU.”  The complete Memorandum of Understanding can be read here.

    The MOU created a Native American Advisory Board to the President and a Native American Advisory Council to the Provost, as well as the Office of Tribal Relations. The Office of Tribal Relations provides support for these endeavors and provides assistance and coordination through the Office of the Provost for projects related to Native Americans, encouraging appropriate and responsive interaction with the tribes. Recognizing the sovereign and unique status of each tribe, WSU is committed to educational dialogue and collaboration with the tribes built on partnership and respect. For additional information regarding the MOU or becoming signatory to the MOU, please contact Zoe Higheagle Strong.

  • WSU Values

    WSU Values

    Quality and Excellence: We are committed to providing quality and excellence in all our endeavors.

    Integrity, Trust, and Respect: We are committed to ensuring trust and respect for all persons in an environment that cultivates individual and institutional integrity in all that we do.

    Research, Innovation, and Creativity: We are committed to the pursuit of inquiry and discovery and to the creation and dissemination of knowledge.

    Land-Grant Ideals: We are committed to the land-grant ideals of access, engagement, leadership, and service to bring the practical benefits of education to the state, nation, and global community.

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

    Freedom of Expression: We are committed to the free exchange of ideas in a constructive and civil environment, including the canons of academic freedom in research, teaching, and outreach.

    Stewardship and Accountability: We are committed to serving as ethical and responsible stewards of University resources.

  • Drive to 25: A roadmap to guide WSU's future

    Drive to 25: A roadmap to guide WSU’s future

    Washington State University’s goal of becoming one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030 (more commonly referred to as the Drive to 25) is the University’s highest strategic priority. After discussions about the Drive to 25 across the WSU system during fall 2016, the campus senior leadership team and deans chose 11 metrics to measure progress toward the goal of achieving recognized status as one of the top 25 public research universities in the U.S. Of these 11 metrics, 3 were chosen that the University community identified as important to the institution but are not easily comparable to other peer universities:

    • Percentage of undergraduates involved in research, scholarship, and creative discovery
    • Placement rate of graduates
    • Percentage of diverse faculty, staff, and students (known as Metric 11).


    Work is well under way to create an even more welcoming and inclusive campus culture and climate in order to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students at WSU. Overarching strategies include:

    • Commit to systemic, long-term change, with WSU faculty, staff, and student involvement in every effort and in every phase.
    • Focus on critical areas where changes have been requested historically, such as policy review, training and development, organizational practices, available campus resources.
    • Learn from national exemplars and incorporate contemporary methods.

    The University community will take the time to review and assess the current situation in order to make meaningful progress. Following completion of meetings and conversations with various students, faculty, and staff during the fall semester, it is clear some concerns go back decades.

     

  • System Wide Resources, Organizations, and Affinity Groups

  • Relevant Courses and Scholarship

  • WSU System Strategic Plan and Core Ideology

    WSU’s Core Ideology

    Core ideology describes an organization’s consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment. Core ideology consists of two notions: core mission—the organization’s reason for being, and core beliefs and values—essential and enduring principles that drive the institution.

    Core Mission

    Washington State University is a public land-grant research university that is committed to the principles of practical education for all, scholarly inquiry that benefits society, and the sharing of expertise to positively impact the state and communities.

    • WSU’s educational mission is to help students become more informed, aware, engaged, and creative—a process through which the University’s graduates achieve upward social mobility. WSU strives to make its expertise available to anyone who seeks to benefit from it, regardless of where they live, where they come from, what they believe, or what their life experiences have been.
    • WSU’s scholarly mission is directed toward the betterment of human existence through the uncovering of new information, the discovery of how to use that information to solve problems, and the creative expression of human experience. The University especially seeks to address issues that impact Washingtonians, and the institution works with residents, commerce, and lawmakers to identify those issues.
    • WSU’s outreach mission is to serve the needs of Washingtonians by sharing its expertise and helping residents integrate that knowledge into their daily lives.

    Core Beliefs

    • The University strives to improve lives through the delivery of a practical education as articulated in the Morrill Act of 1862 to establish the land-grant colleges. It welcomes students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, students with disabilities, veterans, and first-generation students. In short, to paraphrase Congressman Morrill, WSU welcomes the sons and daughters of toil. Students with widely differing interests as well as varying levels of college preparation are welcome and encouraged to pursue a WSU education. Many transform their lives as a result of their University experience. The University seeks greater diversity in its student body. Keeping college affordable is implicit in WSU’s focus. The University judges its success by its ability to help students become more informed, aware, engaged, creative, and socially mobile.
    • WSU focuses on improving the human condition through research, scholarship, and artistic activities. To address the vast and complex problems confronting the world, the University balances the twin needs of continuing the basic research that leads to fundamental discoveries with efforts focused on delivering practical solutions to everyday problems faced by communities in the state and beyond. As WSU strives to be a force for societal transformation, the University embraces entrepreneurial activities and seeks out partnerships that bring together the bold ideas and multidisciplinary expertise required to maximize the benefit to stakeholders and residents.
    • WSU accepts responsibility for enriching the social, economic, and cultural vitality of the region through service and outreach. The University delivers its educational, research, and outreach benefits statewide, with a particular emphasis on major population centers including Everett, Seattle, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Yakima, and Bremerton. WSU focuses on critical problems and issues affecting the state of Washington, partnering with stakeholders to develop solutions to a variety of challenges and spur economic prosperity. The University sustains and enhances community-campus relations statewide.
    • WSU engages globally for the future of the planet. Every aspect of the University’s teaching, research, and service mission has global implications—it is inherent in the mission of a Tier 1 national research university. All WSU faculty are part of an international community of scholars, so their endeavors potentially address a global audience. In serving local communities, WSU develops innovative approaches and solutions that can deliver benefits worldwide. Advancing the institution’s global engagement is a critical component of future success.
    • WSU is committed to achieving an ethically and socially just society for all. Instituting social change on a large scale begins at home. The University is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout every aspect of its statewide system. In the process a climate will created that enables underrepresented students, faculty, and staff to not only survive, but thrive in communities that foster a sense of belonging in a culture of inclusion. The ultimate goal? Creation of an institutional culture in which inclusion and equity are the norms, a model that helps move the world toward a place in which all people are treated with dignity and respect.

    Core Values

    • Land-grant ideals. Land-grant ideals of access to practical education for all regardless of background, the teaching of skills and knowledge necessary to be an engaged community member, scholarly inquiry for the betterment of society, and the sharing of institutional expertise with state residents.
    • A “Cougar Spirit” in WSU graduates that emphasizes community: both the community in which university faculty, staff, and students live and in the one made up of the family of Cougs worldwide.
    • Integrity, trust, and respect. Trust and respect for all persons in an environment that cultivates individual and institutional integrity in all that the University does.
    • Equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Promotion of an ethical and socially just society through an intentional commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
    • Global citizenship. Stewardship of the planet’s resources to ensure its vitality, as well as actions focused on social responsibility and cultural empathy in the context of an interconnected world.
    • Freedom of expression. Free exchange of ideas in a constructive and civil environment, including the canons of academic freedom in teaching, research, and outreach.
    • Whole-person wellness for all members of the institution and a belief it is WSU’s responsibility to contribute to the overall wellness of our communities and the broader society in which individuals

    Learn more about WSU's Core Ideology