Advancing ideas

Four people sit around a table with dishes and glasses on it. All four smile at the camera.
I met with a number of CAHNRS friends last week in Arizona and brought back some action items.

When I was at previous institutions with small airports, I joked that it took a plane, a train, and a camel to get anywhere. Now I wish I had those options. Nonetheless, I made it back to Pullman over the weekend and no airplane doors were lost. I am in town all week before the next adventure begins.

Congratulations to Brandon Hopkins, who will receive the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award at the upcoming Celebrating Excellence Banquet on March 29!

Congratulations also to everyone honored this week at the WSU Annual Employee Recognition Reception for length-of-service milestones! The loyalty and commitment from so many across CAHNRS and WSU are impressive. I won’t call out anyone specific, but there are some long-timers who have seen many things over their WSU careers.

I met with a number of CAHNRS friends last week in Arizona and brought back some action items. I am working through that list now and look forward to conversations with CAHNRS leadership (associate deans, chairs, and directors) about advancing the ideas collected last fall for building a resilient Washington.

I am particularly excited about the upcoming Transforming the Student Experience Summit on April 18. As I talk to people about our goals and approach, there is strong support. The ideas put forward by our programmatic units to ensure access to safe, affordable food; protect natural resources; and keep our communities, families, and individuals thriving generate as much enthusiasm. I consider myself fortunate to be able to share these ideas with partners and friends.

Much of this week involves standing meetings with the associate deans and chairs and directors, a meeting of deans with the provost, some one-on-one meetings with unit leaders, and a couple of meetings with partners. I anticipate a bit of Zoom fatigue before the week is out, but there are important conversations to be had and planning to be done.

In between meetings, we are frantically reviewing documents to prepare for next week’s visits with our elected members of the House and Senate in Washington, D.C. CAHNRS is fortunate to put forward a few equipment requests focused on automating agriculture, and it is time to seek letters of support and finalize case statement documents. In addition, we are putting the finishing touches on our legislative asks around capacity funds, including USDA Agricultural Research Service funding. These funds are key to making a difference in Washington.

Snow landed in Maryland late last week, so I remain optimistic that travel next week will be good. I am counting on only one or two snowfalls in the Washington, D.C., area each year and I think they have hit that mark.