New year, new opportunities

Dean Powers with dairy cow
Students gain real-world experience in operating a working dairy farm at WSU’s Knott Dairy Center, located just outside of Pullman, Wash. Cashup Davis Family Endowed Dean Wendy Powers visits with staff of the dairy center in 2022.

Welcome to 2023! I hope everyone took time to recharge in the company of family and friends. I know travel disruptions changed plans for several, but hopefully there was still an opportunity to enjoy the quietest time for CAHNRS. I look forward to new adventures for our college and all within it. For me, the new year is not so much about resolutions as it is about looking forward to longer days, summer, and new opportunities.

Before we headed out to break, I reviewed the governor’s proposed budget. While I am disappointed that the Knott Dairy Center was not among the priorities in the governor’s list, higher education seemed to do well overall. I remain optimistic that we can better convey the need for the Knott Dairy Center and its importance not just to CAHNRS and the Department of Animal Sciences, but to many disciplines and colleges—including engineering, veterinary medicine, and food science—that support science and workforce development for the betterment of the state economy.

Later this month, the CAHNRS Growth and Visioning Task Force will begin to discuss programmatic priorities that convey high value to the state and identify necessary investments to realize the public value of CAHNRS for the state. The work of the task force will connect with the newly formed CAHNRS Budget Advisory Committee as the committee undertakes its work of providing recommendations for investments and processes. I met with the committee for a portion of their first meeting before break and look forward to seeing their work.

Recently I met James Record, interim dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at WSU’s Spokane campus. Dr. Record is excited about working more closely with Extension. In addition to the strong partnering already underway, we are eager to explore what more CAHNRS and the College of Medicine can do together, attracting more resources to meet the needs of Washingtonians. This is an example of the kind of thing I think about when a new year rolls around. What is most exciting is that the opportunities are not limited to Extension; research and academic programs will also be part of our conversations. As we begin to plan a virtual meeting, please reach out to me or an associate dean if you have ideas for how to partner with the College of Medicine or are already partnering in some way that lends itself to expansion. We would love to hear from you.

I anticipate travel to be a bit slower in January, leaving me time to meet more people on the Pullman campus, and perhaps schedule virtual time with remote locations. I haven’t yet met with every department, nor have I been to all Extension offices. There’s so much more to learn and a new year to do so.