Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Dr. Mike Trevisan

Dean's Perspectives

Thoughts on President Floyd

President Floyd’s passing has been hard. He was a special leader and this clearly shows with the outpouring of testimonials, newspaper articles, web pictures, and the WSU memorial service yesterday. Add this testimonial to the list.

Elson S. Floyd As a college, we felt a rather unique connection with President Floyd. While university presidents often have a tenured faculty appointment in the department for which they affiliated as a scholar, I suspect few presidents have that appointment in a college of education. But that was the case with Elson. I’m sure many were not aware of this. Certainly no one in the college ever thought Elson would come back to us as a faculty member, but we still felt a connection.

Like good leaders do, Elson worked to not show favoritism to any individual or unit at WSU, including us. In fact, most in our college will remember that while I was serving as interim dean in early 2013, the president was quite hard on us due to our lack of university presence. He argued that we needed to make our own case for our contribution to WSU. While this “ruffled a few feathers,” I think he was exactly right in his criticism of us at that time.

To the college’s credit, we embraced this challenge and put a number of initiatives into place: better university communication, particularly about our accomplishments; the development of strategic connections with various colleges and campuses; leading by example in the university’s efforts to provide better support and flexibility for the urban campuses.

I want everyone to know that President Floyd was very pleased with the way this college rose to his challenge. He was openly complimentary of our work and performance. He mentioned this in university forums, meetings and receptions. And, like good leaders do, he made it a point to compliment the work, in person, directly to individuals in the college, including me.

Elson S. Floyd For many years, I didn’t know President Floyd except to say hi in the airport when I would see him (which was nearly every time I traveled). But as I transitioned to dean, and for several months afterward, I got to know him on a professional basis. I observed a top-notch administrator address difficult issues with strength, courage, grace, style, and integrity. I think it is fair to say that he viewed issues as problems to be solved. He was a consummate problem-solver. I became very impressed with him. I knew at that point the university had a special leader. Of course, this makes his untimely loss all the more difficult for the university community.

If you stroll the campus in Pullman you will readily see the impact President Floyd had on this university. The same can be said about the urban campuses, as well. Clear examples of his work and accomplishments include the new buildings, the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, a safer speed limit through campus, a state-of-the-art medical school building in Spokane, a Division I football stadium and other athletic facilities. On top of these is the imminent medical college in Spokane and the successful completion of a billion dollar capital campaign. There are many, many more.

Once Elson appointed me as the permanent dean, all I ever wanted to do was to make him feel like he made the right choice. I suspect this won’t ever change. Because, when all is said and done, President Floyd’s best administrative and leadership skill wasn’t buildings. It wasn’t campaigns. It was people. His impact was certainly felt by the university infrastructure, its programs, and the ideas it holds dear. But even more so, that impact was felt by the individuals who help carry out the university initiatives. Elson S. Floyd

This is our time to mourn the loss of a fabulous leader and a special person. It is also our time to celebrate the president’s accomplishments on behalf of WSU. We can best pay tribute to President Floyd by working to carry out the initiatives he set into motion: initiatives that will catapult WSU into an elite group of universities, positioning us to have real impact in the lives of individuals and communities throughout Washington state and the country.

Last reflections from Korea

Speaking at Pusan National University.
Speaking at Pusan National University.

July 21, 2015

My wife and I are sitting in Incheon Airport waiting for our flight to Seattle. This is a huge airport, with multiple levels, and includes shopping, a cultural center, restaurants, nursing rooms, and showers. So this is quite the place! I am also reflecting on my stay here in Korea and the experiences the sport management students had, and will continue to have, for the next two weeks.

One of the key learning experiences for students is navigating a new city on their own. This is an obvious and essential skill for anyone traveling internationally. The way to go is usually the subway. The subway system in Korea, particularly in Seoul, is world class. It is dependable, inexpensive, and logical — once a person figures out the logic. The challenge is that all signs are marked in Korean characters. Even though there is an English spelling associated with the characters, these are also in Korean. I am unable to adequately describe the initial difficulty in figuring out the system. Once the subway system has been used a couple of times, faculty Yong Chae Rhee and Chris Lebens give an assignment to students to figure out their way back to the dormitories from an excursion somewhere in the city. As if by magic, they all show up at the designated time.

Three days ago we went to the demilitarized zone – or DMZ – that separates North Korea from South Korea. From the demarcation line, North Korea owns two kilometers (1.25 miles) north that makes up half of the DMZ. South Korea owns two kilometers south for the other half of the DMZ. The area is controlled by the United Nations.

The visit to the DMZ was interesting, sobering, and tense. It is clear that the war between the two countries continues. The South Korean soldiers at the DMZ are on constant alert. The guards at the demarcation line that separates North Korea from South Korea remain in a posture ready to fight. All soldiers at the DMZ have a black belt in taekwondo and are college educated.

The plaques that mark various sites along the route tell a story of a long struggle, a tremendous fight, and unimaginable suffering. Koreans also give thanks for sacrifices that other countries endured, such as the U.S. with its military. Though actual fighting is rare between the two countries, the barbed wire fences and guard towers that line the route to and from the DMZ are constant reminders that the countries remain at war.
The last place we stayed was Yonsei University. This is a private, elite university with a top-flight medical school and hospital. The Yonsei Cancer Center holds 2,000 patient beds. The campus is beautiful with many lush green spaces and interesting architecture. Yonsei University is one of the hospitals that has dealt with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS. Korea has experienced a decline in tourism this summer as many have been concerned about the MERS outbreak in this country that occurred a few weeks back. MERS is clearly contained and nearly nonexistent now. Chris mentioned that the country is so confident in its containment of this outbreak that they have offered free medical care and $100,000 for anyone contracting MERS, all as an enticement to gain tourists back.

As Yong Chae and Chris were planning and scheduling activities, many of them were canceled given the MERS outbreak. Thus, a number of changes were made to the schedule of excursions and experiences that the students received. The good news is that given the containment of MERS, some of the events that were canceled have become available again. Yong Chae and Chris are working to reschedule these activities. I think a takeaway for me is that summer-abroad programs require a good deal of flexibility and creativity.

The presentation at Pusan National University went quite well. There were about 40 students and faculty in attendance, in addition to our sport management students. Yong Chae acted as the interpreter during questions and answers at the end of the presentation. There was good attention and interaction. It was quite invigorating for me. The students were science education graduate students. We’ll see what comes of this. I am hopeful for continued collaboration with PNU.

Our experiences in Korea were uniformly positive. My wife and I found the Korean people to be respectful, cordial, and most willing to try and communicate with us, despite our lack of Korean language (except hello and thank you). I learned more about Korea and its history. And despite years of oppression by Asian neighbors, I found Korean people to be upbeat, positive, confident, and with a can-do attitude. Their success in the global economy is a poignant example of what can occur when people see the best in even the worst of circumstances.

Tae Ho Kim is a new faculty member in our sport management program. His in-laws took WSU faculty and their families out to dinner last night. It was a gracious and generous gesture, and quite a meal! Tae Ho’s mother-in-law is an epidemiologist at Yonsei University’s College of Nursing. She will retire next year. However, she will work another two years for a Korean government agency in Bangladesh helping to establish nursing schools in the country, work that she has been doing as a faculty member. Her comment to me is that, at one time, Korea needed and received assistance from other countries. But now Korea is giving back by helping other countries develop in positive ways, such as in Bangladesh. I think this best sums up my impression of Korea and communicates the enduring spirit of the country and its people. I hope everyone in the college gets an opportunity to visit Korea. I think you will be as impressed as I.

Here are some other photos:





Greetings from Busan, Korea!

Written Monday, July 13

As most of the college knows, I am traveling in Korea for a few days to discuss possible collaborations with a couple universities and to spend a little time with the sport management’s summer-abroad program. This is the second year of the summer-abroad program. The students have been here since mid-June and are clearly enjoying themselves. Dr. Yong Chae Rhee and Chris Lebens from sport management are the lead faculty here, teaching, making sure that students are supported, and that the schedule and logistics are appropriately dealt with.

Last week I stopped in the city of Chuncheon to visit Kangwon National University (KNU). Some will remember a faculty member from this university, Dr. Seok Pyo Hong, who spent his sabbatical with the college last year. He was my guide for the two days in Chuncheon. I was there to work with the KNU international affairs office (similar to WSU’s International Programs office) to sign a memorandum of understanding or MOU between KNU and WSU. Deans often represent the university in MOU negotiations when traveling abroad. There is a protocol to follow which is provided by International Programs. I met with the president of KNU and other deans and faculty to discuss the MOU and sign. We then went to a local restaurant that serves traditional Korean food. It was quite a spread!

Kangwon National University
Kangwon National University

And speaking of food! Korean food is wonderful. My wife Fran, who is traveling with me, and I are adventurous eaters. We are at lunch here in Busan while I write this blog at a small local café that serves Korean-style sushi and noodles. We are focused on sushi! Busan is an ocean city so before leaving we want to make sure that we have a seafood dinner somewhere near the waterfront. Much of Korean food is spicy which is something Fran and I enjoy. In fact, the hotter the better – at least to a certain level.

On Thursday I will give a one-hour presentation to Pusan National University (PNU) faculty, administrators, and students regarding STEM education and research at WSU. Like the U.S., STEM is a national priority in Korea. Also similar to the U.S., Korea sees STEM as key to its economic development. Advances in telecommunication and medicine, for example, have thrust Korea onto the world stage as a leading innovator in these areas. And also similar to the U.S., Korea is beginning to see the need to take a global perspective with regards to its STEM-related innovations. STEM education is thus receiving attention in Korea.

Last summer, Chris and Yong Chae met with administrators at PNU while here with the summer-abroad program. The administrators expressed interest in a STEM faculty exchange, and expressed interest in meeting to discuss that possibility further. Chris and Yong Chae brought this information and request to me in late September or early October, and that’s how this trip started. While all of this is exploratory, I have a draft MOU with me and, as per WSU protocol, my dean counterpart and I will discuss ideas and work them into a draft MOU. Should we come to some type of initial agreement on an exchange, I will bring details back to WSU for discussion with faculty. Assuming support, the MOU will then be provided to International Programs for approval.

The top STEM education faculty member in Korea is a faculty member at PNU. Her name is Dr. Jeonghee Nam. It turns out that she is a collaborator with two professors in our college: Andy Cavagnetto and Rich Lamb. She will be in Pullman in August to attend the international Argument-Based Inquiry Conference that the College of Education is sponsoring. Fran and I will have breakfast with her on Thursday.

We’ve seen several interesting places in Chuncheon and Busan. We spent a night in a Buddhist temple in Busan with the students. The temple stay was well worth the time. Also with the students we have attended a Korean baseball game. Now that was interesting! Koreans seem to know how to have good fun at these games. We’ve also seen a Korean soccer match. Interesting to me are the number of international players on professional sports teams, though most players are Korean.

Our every need in Chuncheon was met by KNU and particularly Dr. Hong. He was a most gracious host and we thanked him for his work on our behalf while there. Yong Chae and Chris are also working to meet our needs and facilitating the entire trip. These faculty members have done a wonderful job in preparing and implementing this trip. They are both working long hours to make this a special and memorable trip for these students.

The sport management summer-abroad program is the first of its kind in our college. The program has paved the way for others. In fact, kinesiology conducted its first summer-abroad program this summer in Costa Rica. The experiences students get from a program like this simply can’t be duplicated in any other way. Though the sport management students have only been in Korea for 4 weeks or so, it’s easy to see that the experiences have already broadened their perspectives on a variety of issues. I think it is fair to say that these experiences have changed and shaped their lives in significant ways. As the world “gets smaller” through the internet and quick travel abroad, and global concerns increase on a variety of issues, an international or global outlook will be essential in solving problems and improving the opportunities of people around the world.

Thanks sport management for taking the lead.

The Budget, The Budget, The Budget

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

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

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

My continued recovery and connection to the kinesiology program

crutchesAs of a few days ago, I am now crutchless for a quarter to a third of the day and will be so for the next week and half. While I have looked forward to this with great anticipation, I must confess that it was a bit frightening at first, having been dependent on crutches for the last three months. On that first crutchless evening, my wife and I walked around our block, something I haven’t been able to do since early January. It was great! I felt good and quite optimistic. I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping that night.

Much of my formula for success – and my belief in eventual full recovery – is the physical therapy I receive here in Pullman. The clinic I am a patient at, Proformance Physical Therapy, has been supportive and accommodating. I have a top-notch physical therapist and wonderful physical therapy aides who carry out directives from the therapist, guide me through rehab protocols and monitor the treadmill in the therapeutic pool that I’ll walk in for an hour each day, into July. The physical therapy aides are upbeat, see the world in positive terms, are highly professional, and are my cheerleaders. All of these individuals are WSU students or graduates, and three of them are graduates from the college’s kinesiology program!

Proformance Physical Therapy has and continues to hire a number of our kinesiology students and it is clear they received both a quality education and are trained well on the job. It is great to see our graduates find work that is related to their undergraduate education. The three kinesiology graduates that work with me have high professional goals to pursue physical or occupational therapy as a career. The work opportunities provided by Proformance Physical Therapy make achievement of these goals a real possibility. As dean, I am very pleased with this vote of confidence for our graduates from a local business.

The college’s kinesiology program had struggled for many years. While there had been several reasons for this, a key reason was that the college itself had not set it as a priority. This is no longer the case. In March of last year, President Floyd met with program faculty and students. While he saw firsthand the poor resources the program had, he also saw the potential the program has to make a real impact. As a consequence, the president jump started rejuvenation and revitalization of the program with resources that are now being used to establish the infrastructure for an exercise physiology lab.

Since then, the college has hired two new tenure-track faculty members that will start in the fall and will outfit the exercise physiology lab and a biomechanics lab. The reason and resources for this are simple and straightforward. Kinesiology has approximately 1,000 enrolled students. I fully expect this number to increase each year for the foreseeable future. It is an enrollment-growth program and with the increased enrollment, generating additional resources that are, in turn, being used to build the program. This is a strategic investment in an undergraduate program that has rapidly become a major contributor in WSU’s push to enlarge its enrollment.

I am proud of what the kinesiology program provides, the quality teaching and research that is being done, and the potential it has to offer a premier undergraduate education for students. My experience working with graduates of the kinesiology program at Proformance reinforces my belief that the earlier decisions made to invest in the program were the right decisions, decisions that will pay dividends for students and in turn, the community and beyond.

Reflections on Being Temporarily Disabled

As many of you know, I slipped on the ice and suffered a knee injury in early January. By the latter part of February I was on crutches and I remain dependent on them for the next few weeks.

The good news is that I am clearly on the mend, making improvements each day. As of yesterday I have started a process of weaning myself from the crutches. I have another 12 weeks of rehab but could be walking unaided in 3-4 weeks. I am ecstatic about this positive turn of events.

I want to thank many in the college who have asked about my status from time to time and have genuinely rooted for me. Know that the positive energy has clearly helped me stay focused and positive and is helping me to heal.

Mike Trevisan addresses College of Education visitors from Thailand. Since February, his crutches have had many photo ops.
Mike Trevisan addresses College of Education visitors from Thailand. Since February, his crutches have had many photo ops.

It has been interesting to observe the reactions of people seeing a middle-aged person on crutches. Some don’t seem to know how best to react in seeing me. I particularly get interesting looks from people when Alaska Airlines carts me through the terminal in a wheelchair. And yes, while not always easy, traveling for business can be done. I have been on several trips now with crutches on airplanes, in taxis, and staying in hotels.

I think what has struck me the most is how a set of crutches connects me with other people, particularly those that have had injuries that required long rehabilitation and recovery. I have heard many personal stories about multiple surgeries that required months, and sometimes years, to fully resolve. And if it was a leg injury, how long the individual was on crutches (sometimes for months!).

Being dependent on other people has been probably the most difficult thing for me. It is humbling to be carted through the airport in a wheelchair. My wife Fran, has waited on me without complaint, to do things like iron clothes, move a glass of water from the sink to the table, or go to the store for me, all things I normally do myself. And in the office, my assistant Stacy Mohondro, has done much the same for me, including scheduling many doctor and physical therapy appointments around a packed schedule and somehow, making it all work.

I anticipate 100 percent recovery within the next 3-4 months. Paradoxically, I feel very lucky. I will treat winter here on the Palouse quite differently. My faith in others has been re-affirmed. Most have rooted for me and I am grateful for this support.

Pointing ship in the right direction

As the year comes to a close and I look to the next, a number of thoughts come to mind. I think it is a fair to say that this year was one of “pointing the ship in the right direction.” To this end, the college worked to successfully close a budget gap, make a number of staff changes, and re-organize various units. An energetic and productive new cohort of faculty members were hired, and those hired in Pullman have quickly changed the tenor in Cleveland Hall. In addition, a variety of small, but important, revisions to various protocols have been put into place so that we remain one college across four campuses and honor each campus’s need for flexibility.

One of the things that struck me most during this last year is how people pulled together to move the college forward. Staff, faculty, administrators, and even graduate students, worked to make this a better place. Good will and a can-do spirit is evident. The college is thinking less about constraints and more about possibilities. This is a fun place to be a dean!

Another key factor in the college’s success this last year is the leadership team. This is a group of bright people, thoughtful and strong in their thinking. I depend on their feedback and wise counsel for all key decisions. Ultimately, there are some decisions which are mine, and mine alone. I make better decisions when I have the solid counsel of the leadership team.

Communication and marketing the college, its accomplishments, and its initiatives, has been a strong priority this year. In August we hired Brandon Chapman, who in a very short period of time has changed how communication is done on behalf of the college and in many ways, has begun to re-brand the College of Education on the WSU campus. Brandon is highly skilled with social media, web delivery, and a strong writer. He is savvy about communication and marketing and the college is fortunate to have him on staff.

I mentioned in a previous column about the importance and strength of our new development team. So I won’t go repeat detail, but think it worth noting that under the leadership of Andrea Farmer, the development director, development has a new face and energy that is poised to break development records. I couldn’t be more pleased with their near-term success.

Next year will bring a number of challenges and opportunities. I think we can expect this mix from here on out. To be sure, a key challenge will be how best to deploy limited resources effectively. The college will see the beginning of a host of new initiatives that are being driven by faculty and staff willing to take risks, invest time and energy, and step up to meet new expectations. Discussion of these however, can wait until next year!

It is time now to enjoy the holiday.

Happy Holidays to everyone and here’s to a great 2014.

– Mike

Many reasons to be thankful

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it is a time of reflection for me as I think about the many good people and initiatives in the College of Education. I want to take a few moments here to identify some of the things that I am thankful for as the dean of the college. I wish I had space to identify all individuals, programs, and initiatives. The following will, however, provide a few specifics about our college that make this place special, and for me, proud to serve as dean.Oak Leaf book 2

I think the thing I am thankful for, first and foremost, is the people in the college, both faculty and staff. We have people who have just started in the college, and those who have worked here for more than 30 years. Some have worked here and left for a bit and then returned. Regardless of the job classification, the general tenor among employees is upbeat and they approach their work with a can-do attitude. As a consequence, I think we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

I want to make special mention regarding our staff. These professionals provide the support faculty and administrators need to do their work. Our college could not succeed without these individuals. These unsung employees work hard to meet increasingly higher expectations on a campus that is moving fast. I want to thank each and every staff member on all four campuses, for the work they do to make the college a great place to work, study, and build a career.

The legacy of the college is the educational leadership program. The college trains the majority of the superintendents in Washington. Thus, I am thankful for a top-notch educational leadership program. The academic faculty, and the faculty that have left the K-12 administrative ranks to enter higher education, are the heart and soul of the program. Their tireless efforts in providing the best possible experience for students studying to become administrators keeps WSU and the college in the forefront of K-12 work in the state.

I am also thankful for our development team. In fact, I think it is fair to say that we have a “cracker jack” development team. These folks are continually on the road making contact with potential donors. They are continually working to maintain links to previous donors. And they’re constantly strategizing on ways to position the college to receive the kind of development support we need to be successful now and in the years to come. As a relatively new team with an upwardly revised expectation for growth, they are on target to meet their revenue goal for the first year. Well done and keep up the great work.

I think a program we will begin to hear a good deal about in the coming years is kinesiology. With a key faculty hire this last year, a search for another faculty member under way this year, support from President Floyd, and plans to develop a master’s program, kinesiology is positioning itself to become a solid choice for many students interested in this field. In short, I am thankful for a program that has momentum and is working to reach higher.

I think the above provides a bit of what I am thankful for in the college, why I enjoy working in the college, and why I am positive about the college’s future. In the coming weeks and months I will highlight other programs, people, and initiatives that make this a wonderful college. In the meantime, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and trust that this holiday will be a special one for you and yours.