My fellow Carson Cougs,
The American Dream—the special focus of this issue—strikes a universal chord. Even skeptics understand the power of the idea that everyone should have a fair shot at a good life. The American Dream is really a gift, given by our society through opportunity. And in an increasingly complex world, higher education should be an especially powerful provider of opportunity.
Some might wonder whether college and the American Dream are still connected. In recent decades, the share of Americans moving up the income ladder over time has declined, giving ammunition to those who would say the Dream is fading. And public confidence in higher education is also waning. Our students and their families are struggling with tuition costs and debt. State funding for our public universities has declined drastically.
These challenges make our work at WSU even more important for the state of Washington. In the Carson College, we strive to make the American Dream real by bringing world-class business education to a wide range of students: we embrace our third- and fourth-generation Cougar alumni, we welcome and learn from our international students, and we are proud of the one-third of our students who are the first in their families to graduate from college. We inspire these business leaders of the future to achieve success in their careers, and through their success, to create opportunities for others.
Delivering on the Dream requires us to challenge students, to dismantle barriers to advancement, and to provide chances to recover for those who stumble. Many features throughout this issue illustrate how our students and graduates across campuses are working hard, overcoming obstacles, and showing integrity on the path toward achieving their aspirations—whether starting their own businesses, moving ahead in their careers, or returning for more education to make career changes possible. As you read, you’ll also discover how our faculty provide insights and critical thinking about workforce development in key sectors of our twenty-first century economy.
Being the dean of the Carson College of Business is an amazing opportunity. I am charged with ensuring that business education matters, with demonstrating its personal and societal impacts, and with making the case that we are uniquely positioned to deliver opportunities to achieve the American Dream to anyone willing to reach for it. I can’t do this alone.
Working together, we can innovate, create insight, and keep the gift of opportunity open and affordable. You can help. Tell everyone about where we’re heading, share your experience with our students and other alumni, and invest in us. Together, we will see Carson College students become the global leaders that repay the gift of the American Dream to others.