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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