Dear CAHNRS Faculty and Staff Colleagues:
June 13th was my first official day back, full-time, in the CAHNRS Dean’s office after having served almost a year as one of two Co-Provosts at WSU. I must admit that I am very pleased to be back in the college where I began my academic career, and a college that I truly love being part of. I experienced and learned a great many things during my time in the Provost Office, and I believe that many of the university-wide perspectives I gained in that role will enhance my ability to serve our college in positive ways moving forward. It also underscored my conviction about something I had already known and appreciated — that I am, and we are, very fortunate to be part of a college at WSU that is so successful, and that has such monumental impact, quality, scope, and depth.
The past 11 months was a difficult and challenging time, and in terms of impacts on colleges caused by changing administrative roles to provide leadership support to the university, there was not much argument in expecting that CAHNRS would have been the most impacted of the WSU colleges. But due to the extraordinary and effective leadership provided by Acting Dean Kim Kidwell, Associate Deans Rich Koenig and Jim Moyer, the CAHNRS administrative staff, together with your dedication, efforts, and support, the college not only continued to operate in a stable and productive manner, it also managed to continue to advance important strategic goals and initiatives. I am deeply thankful to Kim, Rich and Jim, and all of you, for ensuring that we met the challenges and succeeded in dealing with them — the most expansive and complex college at Washington State University not only maintained its effectiveness in achieving its mission, but continued to successfully advance its aspirational strategic goals.
There will be some continuing as well as some new challenges facing the college and university as we move forward into the next academic year and beyond. One of the higher priority issues will be the need for the university to address some budgetary concerns, of which I am sure you are aware given President Schulz’s message to the university community issued last week. We are a strong college, and a strong university, and we will address them and be successful as we always invariably have been. Rest assured that I will engage you in transparent communication and dialog about any issues and initiatives if/when they become relevant and it is prudent to do so.
I will close this first message since returning to the college by reiterating that I am indeed very glad to be back, I am deeply thankful for and proud of all of your accomplishments during these past 11 months, and I pledge to you that I will dedicate myself to working hard and well in support of you and the college, and in so doing, hope that you will also be equally as glad that I am back for a while.
Best Regards to All,
Ron Mittelhammer (’78)