My fellow Carson Cougs,
We’re launching an exciting journey. I joined you in August as the dean of the WSU Carson College of Business. From the time I visited Pullman in January 2015 as a candidate, continuing through today, I have been hearing from Cougs worldwide about their aspirations for their newly named college. Together, we’ll see the Carson College become a model for business education in public universities.
With your support, we will aim high, drawing on the inspiring vision the late President Elson S. Floyd shared with so many of us. Our values are right for the times. The WSU land-grant mission drives us to provide an education accessible to all who are able to benefit from it. Our students acquire marketable skills based on deep understanding and engagement with the world. Our influential alumni, the breadth of our learning experiences, and our research creativity will make the state of Washington, the country, and the world better places.
WSU values resonate deeply with me. I grew up in the Palouse, just across the Washington-Idaho border in Moscow. Thirty-four years ago, I moved away for college and discovered that business schools can change lives—including my own. For the last four years, I was associate dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I spent over a decade there on the faculty of the School of Business. My time in Madison reinforced my conviction that great public land-grant universities like WSU emphasize transformational student experiences and push the frontiers of knowledge. We represent the best of American higher education.
Our students acquire marketable skills based on deep understanding and engagement with the world. Our influential alumni, the breadth of our learning experiences, and our research creativity will make the state of Washington, the country, and the world better places.
My wife Julie joins me in our move west. Our two daughters, Ally in Boston, and Olivia in Kansas City, now have the opportunity to visit their parents and grandparents in Pullman. We are all thrilled to join the Cougar Nation.
Throughout this issue of Dividend, you’ll see stories that illustrate our values and our potential, demonstrating why I was inspired to join you. Our campus entrepreneurs are making waves: undergraduate teams compete in the nation’s top business plan competitions, and our graduate team TriboTEX was invited to compete in the world’s largest student startup competition at Rice University.
The success of these teams, like that of all our students, owes much to dedicated faculty, staff, and members of our boards of advisors, all of whom devote themselves to developing our students into the global business leaders of the future. You’ll read about advisory board members who volunteered to judge business plan competitions this year in Switzerland and Tanzania, sharing their expertise with international students who are striving to improve their communities and countries.
This remarkable commitment exemplifies how we bring together students, teachers, alumni, and industry leaders to deliver on our promise. And the stories reflected in our regular “four priorities of the college” section demonstrate that we can attract students and faculty with the skills and talent to rival anyone.
The Carson College has been well positioned by its recent leaders to move forward on our path. We will build on recent rounds of strategic planning that clarify our strengths. Many of our faculty and staff have weathered challenging times, demonstrating commitment to our mission. Our more recent arrivals contribute fresh perspectives, and the impact of our scholarship is positioned to grow in tandem with broader university aspirations for research progress. The college is renowned for international learning experiences, especially powerful when we provide students the first glimmers of thinking globally.
Investments in our branch campuses open up new vistas. Trailblazing ventures into online education are attracting new students without diminishing the value of the on-campus experience that has meant so much to so many of you. Most importantly, the loyalty of our community leaves a deep impression on everyone who learns about us. This devotion to WSU provides the platform that will support our continued success.
Other business schools will be challenged to undertake what I envision us accomplishing: transformative learning experiences for a wide range of students, research that influences critical thinking and produces meaningful knowledge, and statewide university and business partnerships—to the benefit of all.
The landscape we face on our journey is rugged. New technologies bring global challenges as much as opportunities. Both the public purse and families’ budgets stretch in keeping up with the costs of higher education. We will need to work together across WSU to make the most of what we have to offer. To move forward, we must reach out more broadly to engage with the amazing business community of the state of Washington.
As I look at the hills we need to climb, our university’s historic values and roots in the Palouse provide the best base camp I can imagine. Other business schools will be challenged to undertake what I envision us accomplishing: transformative learning experiences for a wide range of students, research that influences critical thinking and produces meaningful knowledge, and statewide university and business partnerships—to the benefit of all.
I look forward to getting to know many more of you in the future and establishing priorities for our first steps together. With your support and commitment, we will make an ever greater difference in the lives of our students and alumni. We’ll make the state a better place to live and work, and make our mark on the world. Go Cougs!
– Chip Hunter, Dean