Back in full swing

An adult and 15 students stand outside buildings on the WSU Pullman campus. Some of the students hold a large red flag with the WSU logo in front of them.
The CAHNRS recruitment team (including Miguel, pictured, far left, and the student ambassadors) continues to encourage enrollment and has many events lined up.

The weather’s better and my cold symptoms have largely subsided.

Statewide travel this week includes the Washington & Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, a visit to Ritzville, and time with the Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center team. I look forward to learning from the faculty presenting in Kennewick. The week also holds standing meetings, including those with chairs and directors and the associate deans. Also on the schedule is some planning time for messaging about CAHNRS’ efforts to build a more resilient Washington.

The associate deans and I have had a couple of longer planning sessions that give us time to brainstorm. These sessions are worthwhile but difficult to schedule given our other commitments and requests. A few of our discussion topics include aligning current faculty efforts with funding codes by making use of faculty position descriptions submitted with annual review materials; developing a CAHNRS strategic plan that keeps the college a great place to work and learn while expanding our excellence in teaching, research, and Extension and finding operational efficiencies; and creating paths that offer students experiences outside the lecture hall and better meet employer needs.

Congratulations to Aaron Esser, this year’s Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association Industry Award winner! It is great to see CAHNRS personnel recognized for their accomplishments!

Things seem in full swing in Olympia, with a number of policy proposals that could provide opportunities for our state and CAHNRS units. On the federal side, I suspect there will be considerable activity aimed at passing a budget when we are in Washington, D.C., at the end of February for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching meeting.

It is hard to believe we are in the last full week of January already! The end of the business day is noticeably brighter. Soon it will be time to take stock of our incoming class numbers. I know the CAHNRS recruitment team (Miguel, Junior, and our student ambassadors) continues to encourage enrollment and has many events lined up to attract high schoolers in all grades to WSU. Departments, too, are actively getting the word out about the exciting career opportunities in CAHNRS’ many disciplines. Given the recruitment efforts, I am hopeful our numbers will be up again this coming year. CAHNRS is a great place for students to start their professional journey!