Dear Eagle Family and Friends,
Happy 2022! It’s just a few weeks into this new year — and just over a week into winter term — and there is so much to share with you.
The new calendar year has already presented us with a number of challenges and opportunities that will define Eastern Washington University for the next several years. And while we might sometimes find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by potential obstacles, the omicron surge perhaps chief among them, EWU has so many great things happening. I’m thrilled to share how the university continues to shine: From our instruction, research and athletic accomplishments, to a creative new outreach campaign to attract students and tell our story.
Among the most exciting of these successes are the accomplishments of students and faculty in cybersecurity, a program that has recently been recognized by regional and state media (see news item below). We are hosting an Eastern Edge community forum on cybersecurity in Spokane, Friday, Feb. 4. And the prowess of our cybersecurity students will be on vivid display the following day as a team of computer science students will be trying to defend EWU’s title at the Spokane Mayor’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition on Feb. 5.
In the fascinating field of cybersecurity, Eastern is uniquely positioned to equip students to meet the needs of potential employers. That’s why we are asking the legislature this session to support our efforts with a $2.8 million investment so we can expand course offerings and not turn away qualified students from this program. EWU is also partnering with our state’s other comprehensive baccalaureate institutions to ask for more financial support to provide critical wrap-around services to help all students succeed. You can learn more about our 2022 legislative priorities here.
You will also start to see and hear a lot more about EWU in the coming weeks thanks to our new brand positioning campaign. Targeted at students and the greater community, the initiative will help get the word out about all the great things Eastern has to offer. Be on the lookout for new billboards, as well as numerous TV and radio spots! And prospective students will see our ads on TikTok and Snapchat as well.
If print is your preferred method of getting caught up on all things Eastern, then I urge you to check out the latest edition of Eastern Magazine, which recently arrived in mailboxes. We’re proud of the compelling stories that highlight the innovative happenings on campus and the extraordinary work of our alumni, faculty and staff.
In the coming months you will also be hearing more about the search for a permanent president here at Eastern. The application and search process is already well underway, with interviews and finalists selected by the end of this month. More interviews will take place next month, with an expected appointment named by the end of February. Stay tuned.
Finally, this week marked what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 93rd birthday. Unfortunately, the pandemic caused the cancelation of many of the holiday’s activities and service events, but I hope you will take time to remember Dr. King’s powerful life and work — a legacy of commitment and courage that should inspire us each day. It is my promise that EWU will remain focused on creating opportunities for all students. Our Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion continues to offer many opportunities for engagement year-round, and we continue to make progress on our plan to become a federally-designated Hispanic Serving Institution, an initiative that will help support all students at Eastern.
As we like to say throughout campus, we are ONE university. So let’s continue to support and show grace to one another during these unique, and uniquely challenging, times. While it’s true that we can’t know the future or foresee the obstacles the coming year might put before us, I can say with certainty that the resilience and resolve of the students, faculty and staff at Eastern Washington University will keep us Eagle Strong going forward.
David May, PhD
Eastern Washington University