College of Education

Dean's Perspectives

The Budget, The Budget, The Budget

April 13th, 2015

Our college’s budget is something that ties all programs, staff, faculty, and students together. So it’s no surprise that so many attended our second forum on budget/reprioritization, both in-person and on the phone (event took place Fri., April 10, 2015).Mike Trevisan

Washington State University has faced budget challenges many times in its history. In the 21 years I have been here I have experienced six or seven budget reductions. Each one has its own challenges. Each one brings some level of ambiguity and personal fear. But WSU and the College of Education have always worked through them and we will do this again!

WSU has experienced remarkable success this last year. Under the leadership of President Elson Floyd, the university has met and exceeded a $1 billion capital campaign goal and won legislative approval of a medical school. These accomplishments give me pause and make me proud and pleased that I am part of the WSU drive for excellence.

The demands on the budget not only come from limited state-revenue sources but also the need to internally prioritize where limited resources should go for the health and betterment of the institution. An internal salary increase, new medical school, and push toward AAU status are top issues that are competing for WSU resources. I mentioned to those present at the forum today that there is a creative tension between what is good for an individual and for a program, an individual and the college, the college and the greater university. And so it goes.

I anticipate that all needed information for making budget changes in the college will likely not be available until fall. As I articulated today, the four criteria I will use to make budget decisions are:

Strategic. Decisions need to make sense for the overall health of the college, and fit in with our vision and mission.

Transparent. When information is available and I can share it, I will do so. I want everyone to have the most up-to-date information about the budget in order to have a clear understanding of where we stand as a college and what this could mean for a particular individual.

Sustainable. Too often, with budget issues, the “quick-fix” or “Band-Aid approach” is used. Though it may be more difficult up front I will strive to make budget decisions that won’t need to be addressed again in the next couple of years. In short, long-term solutions require long-term decision-making.

Humane. Above all, we’re in the people business. It’s where the majority of our budget is allocated. The one promise I can make is that concern for each individual will be used throughout this process.

I want to thank all in the college for their hard work in making the college a better place to work, and in helping the college improve its presence and stature at WSU. In the meantime, I encourage a solid closeout to the semester and wish everyone an enjoyable summer. I look forward to continued work on initiatives important to the college and WSU.

Work travel can be a necessary evil – but with some benefits

November 16th, 2014

This blog post written on Friday morning, Nov. 14

I have never liked business travel. Being away from home, family, and the normal routine has always been hard on me. However, I am unafraid to travel. In fact, when I started at WSU in 1994, I quickly concluded that to “be in the game,” travel out of Pullman would be required. I have kept to that thinking ever since.

As many of you know, late September and all of October has been intense travel time for me. I have been to Washington DC, Madrid, twice to Denver, as well as a handful of times to Seattle, all for work-related activities.

Given email access in hotels and in recent years, airplanes, coupled with cell phone communication, I remain well connected with the college, even while on the road. You wouldn’t know that I am writing this blog at 35,000 feet unless I told you.

My strong preference is to be at home, but I do look for positives while traveling. The flight early this morning provided a clear view of Mt. Rainier. In the light of dawn, it looked surreal. I felt I could reach out and touch it. Its beauty and majesty gives me pause. When I was in Madrid it was 82–85 degrees Fahrenheit the entire week. Shorts and-flip flops was the evening dress, and as you know, my favorite way to go. In addition, this trip I am traveling with Amy Cox, Brandon Chapman, and Cathy Claussen as we work to raise money for the Sport Management program’s new Title IX and gender equity professorship. Familiar faces help. And given that this trip is for development, I am guaranteed to meet some interesting people, a key reason why I have come to enjoy development work.

As a land-grant university, there are significant expectations for faculty, staff, and administrators to partner, collaborate, and be present to a significant number of stakeholders. Any faculty member with an active research program is traveling. Most academic directors, department chairs, and administrators on up the administrative chain, are traveling. Thus, travel is part of the WSU experience.

I will return late Sunday night. I have one more trip during early December and then I will be down for several weeks. During that time I promise to roam the halls a bit to say hi and see how you are doing. For, despite being well connected to the college while traveling, nothing beats face-to-face interaction.

Now on to Houston!

The College of Education’s legacy

October 7th, 2014

The college’s legacy is education and training of school administrators.

While there are many top notch and influential programs in the College of Education, the K-12 Educational Leadership program stands out as the college’s legacy, particularly superintendent training. For decades, the program has reached every corner of the state, and most, if not all, school districts. It has done this as graduates of the Educational Leadership program take on administrative roles in these districts. In addition, many of our graduates have filled important administrative, policy, and political positions throughout the state.

Randy Dorn

Randy Dorn, Washington state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction

The current Superintendent of Public Instruction, Randy Dorn, is one of our graduates. In short, the Educational Leadership program has – and continues to be – a program that influences policy and practice. As a consequence, many know the College of Education through one of the Educational Leadership degrees or certification offerings.

Each year students graduate with school principal or superintendent certificates or fulfill requirements for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, and eventually find their way into principal, superintendent or other educational leadership positions in Washington State. While competition for these students is fierce, the College of Education continues to train many of the principals and superintendents in the state. And the reason is clear: The practical and theoretical aspects of the program are second to none. Students make a conscious choice to enroll in the college’s programs even though competing programs in the state might have a shorter time requirement, work commitment, and/or cost less. Students see the college’s programs as gateways to a professional career as a K-12 administrator, particularly in Washington State, because of the high quality preparation provided.

Reyes and Sturm

Susana Reyes and Paul Sturm are both graduates of WSU’s Ed.D. program.

In May, a total of 31 principal certificates and 19 superintendent certificates were earned across the WSU Spokane, Vancouver, and Tri-Cities campuses. I am pleased with these individuals for their commitment to K-12 education and their willingness to fulfill leadership roles. I am honored that they chose WSU for their education and training. Further, I am proud of the Educational Leadership faculty who work tirelessly to provide the best educational experience possible for students, as well as the students and faculty who produce scholarship that positively impacts our state’s K-12 students, schools, and school districts.

The Educational Leadership program plays a vital role in developing community relations and connections. Our program faculty engage in outreach, research, and teaching that link our college to communities throughout the state. For example, faculty in the program maintain connections with local schools through teacher professional development and leadership preparation. The college also has links through research. We have grants and programs related to fuller integration of STEM education in local school settings.


Ed Leadership faculty Gordon Gates and Gail Furman.

The statewide doctoral program (Ed.D.) generates practitioner-oriented research to meet the needs of school districts and college and universities. Links between theory and practice are central to the research of faculty and graduate students. Faculty work hard to generate research that is relevant, timely, and applicable to meet the needs of the most pressing problems facing educational leaders throughout the state, region, and country. These faculty have nationally recognized research in the areas of leadership for social justice, transformative leadership, STEM education, and building reflective practitioners.

A prominent feature of the program is faculty with unprecedented practical experience grounded in meeting the needs of schools in Washington. Gay Selby and Teena MacDonald for example, are veteran educators and administrators in Washington. Along with an experienced cadre of adjunct faculty, students receive tools tested in the real world of schools, making our graduates highly sought after by schools and districts.

The college is vested in maintaining a premier Educational Leadership program. The aforementioned faculty are tangible evidence of this. In addition, the college will continue to look for strategic partnerships; obtain local, state, and national roles that will allow influence; garner resources to properly support the Educational Leadership program; and work to maintain visibility and prominence in Washington State as the college continues its legacy of producing educational leaders.

More information on our Educational Leadership program can be found at

College of Education, Cleveland Hall, PO Box 642114, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2114, Contact Us