Students remain our most critical investment
Our state’s economy depends on skilled, smart WWU graduates
By Bruce Shepard, WWU President
Financial investments have taken a beating in this volatile economy, but here’s one investment we all know pays off: Investing in our students is as close as we can get to a sure thing.
A college degree is more important now than ever to participate in our increasingly knowledge-based economy. Washington state’s thriving businesses, industries, public services and educational institutions all depend on Western’s well-trained graduates.
I am frequently pleased to receive very favorable impressions about Western’s direct, “hands-on” approach to education. Our faculty often work closely with students in the kinds of projects you more typically would find at major research universities.
You would expect Western to be a leader in monitoring lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and glaciers and studying earthquake threats, declining bird populations and the health of Puget Sound ecosystems. Do you know that faculty and students in our neurosciences program are gleaning insights into diseases of the brain such as schizophrenia? Or that those in our Advanced Materials Science & Engineering Center are supporting private-sector innovation by helping manufacturers develop low-wake ferries and light-weight municipal buses?
Western faculty research reaches across the region, state and world in its benefits and applications.
That’s why we’re working hard to protect the core of our – your – investment: the excellent academic programs and critical support services that help build the futures of your students, who will in turn build brighter futures for us all.
Like families tightening their belts during this recession to preserve what’s important, Western is fiercely protecting the academic excellence that students and families have come to rely upon.
And the state’s economy will be relying on us, too, to produce the graduates needed to fuel the recovery.