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Land-grant Symposium

Hundreds participate in land-grant symposium

A Call to Action: How Can WSU Better Serve the Public?
A symposium about the future of land-grant universities
May 7, 2019

More than 550 people system-wide participated in the University’s first land-grant symposium on May 7, a day-long event focused on exploring the future of land-grant universities.

Stephen Gavazzi, co‑author of Land‑Grant Universities for the Future, delivered the keynote address and lead a series of dialogues with WSU panelists focused on WSU’s mission and the need for land-grants to evolve to maintain their relevancy and value to the public. Discussions focused on the three focal legs of the University’s mission: teaching, engagement, and research.

Gavazzi and WSU President Schulz participated in a fireside chat focused on how the University’s Drive to 25 supports the land-grant mission.

The symposium helped set the stage for discussions that will lead to creation of WSU’s first system-focused strategic plan in the coming months.

Watch symposium video recording

Symposium program

Opening remarks: Planning WSU’s Future

How can and should the University evolve to better serve the public good and the state’s future needs? WSU President Kirk Schulz offered a big-picture perspective and explained how the day’s discussions would provide an important framework for creating a comprehensive five-year strategic plan that addresses the future of the entire WSU system of campuses and locations.

Kirk Schulz
President, Washington State University

Keynote address: Land-Grant Universities: Mission in Service to the Well-Being of Communities

Universities have lost public support in recent years. In order to get it back, they must focus on issues such as great teaching, community engagement, and doing research that matters to their stakeholders. Dr. Gavazzi shared the history of land-grant and insights gained while researching his book.

Stephen Gavazzi
Coauthor, Land-Grant Universities for the Future
Professor, Department of Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University

Panel discussion: Focus on Teaching Well

Universities should place a greater emphasis on high-quality instruction of both undergraduate and graduate students to help regain public support. How effective is WSU in meeting the teaching portion of its mission?

Dr. Gavazzi

Kathleen McAteer
Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Clinical Assistant Professor of Biology
WSU Tri-Cities

William Davis
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
WSU Pullman

Jason Porter
Associate Professor of Accounting, College of Business
Recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Online Teaching Award
WSU Pullman

Samantha Swindell
Associate Dean of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and
Clinical Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
WSU Pullman

Panel discussion: Engaging the Community

Universities must do more to engage the communities in which they are based—whether urban or rural. How effective is WSU in this regard? What is the WSU system’s role vs. the role of each campus?

Dr. Gavazzi

Sandra Haynes
WSU Tri-Cities

Bob Drewel
Senior Advisor to the President, Office of the President

Chad Kruger
Director, Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center in Mount Vernon, the Puyallup Research & Extension Center, and the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources

Colleen Kerr
Vice President, Office of External Affairs and Government Relations
Member, APLU Commission on Economic and Community Engagement
WSU Seattle office

Panel discussion: Do Research That Matters

When research is conducted, it should be easy for the public to recognize the immediate benefits. But stakeholders also need to know how the research addresses long-range issues and the challenges they face. How effective is WSU in engaging in research that matters? What is the optimal balance between basic and applied research?

Dr. Gavazzi

Celestina Barbosa Leiker
Executive Associate Dean, Associate Dean for Research, and Associate Professor, College of Nursing
WSU Spokane

Jill McCluskey
Regents Professor, Distinguished Professor of Sustainability, and Associate Director, School of Economic Sciences, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources
WSU Pullman

Chris Keane
Vice President for Research and Professor of Physics
WSU Pullman

Guy Palmer
Regents Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases,
The Jan and Jack Creighton Endowed Chair, Senior Director of Global Health, College of Veterinary Medicine
Member, National Academy of Sciences
WSU Pullman

Fireside chat: “How Does Our Drive to 25 Vision Connect with Our Land-Grant Mission?”

The Drive to 25 will enhance the University’s land-grant mission, boosting its ability to deliver great teaching, research, and service. President Schulz and Dr. Gavazzi explored the Drive to 25, its metrics, and the ways the initiative will strengthen WSU for the future.

Dr. Gavazzi
President Schulz

System-wide discussion: WSU’s Land-Grant Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Land-grants, like other organizations, must continually evolve to maintain their relevancy and perceived value to survive—and thrive. Participants engaged in a SWOT discussion built around the day’s key themes.

Jean Frankel
Founder, President, and CEO, Ideas for Action, LLC
Consultant for WSU system strategic planning

Craig Parks
Associate Vice Provost, Office of the Provost and Professor of Social Psychology
WSU Pullman


Reception/Book Signing with Dr. Gavazzi