Getting out there

Dean Wendy Powers standing in wheat field.

Students are settling in. Most have found their way to class by now. I met with one department chair today who shared that one of the things they enjoy most about the position is the interaction with students and watching them grow during their time at WSU. Last week, I heard something similar from a fellow dean. Part of our commitment to students is to recruit more students, so that everyone can take part in the undergraduate experience. The chair talked about the time they invest in visiting high schools, inviting those students in to see the department and meet with faculty, and engaging the department’s stakeholders and partners in recruitment. I suspect there are some ideas in there that CAHNRS could pursue to increase our enrollments.

I start one-on-one meetings with chairs this week. I won’t be able to meet with all this week, but it’s a start. It will be useful to hear what is on each of their minds, particularly as we begin to think about setting a course for CAHNRS. The path to the future will require that we all participate, lending our unique talents to securing the vision. A couple of ‘meet and greets’ with teams are on the calendar this week. I hope there are more to come! Meeting with the entire team gives me a sense of how the team works together while allowing me a chance to hear about their shared goals and obstacles. In addition, it’s a good time to talk about how I interact with the team.

Next week, I start to get out there and travel around the state. I am eager to hear from stakeholders and partners about where they see untapped potential as well, so that we can appropriately engage them in the path to success. Last week, I met one of the members of CARET, the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching. I need to work with the leadership team to meet any additional members or appoint others. CARET members are key advocates who work on our behalf to advance goals and provide strategic feedback. As we advance CAHNRS and work to build resources to support the future state, we will want our CARETs to be full partners in the entire process.