Eastern has a great history of student preparation. The university proudly produces the educators, city planners, business leaders and health care workers who are the fabric of every community. Now, with a changing economy and the global speed of information dissemination, this is a critical time to embrace EWU’s vision to have a big Future.
In 1882, Benjamin Cheney’s $10,000 private gift transformed a wooded hill into a training school. His vision propelled Eastern Washington University to build a reputation as a student-centered university that promotes academic excellence and opportunity. While we should not forget our great past, it is crucial now for all of us who care about Eastern to participate in the important task of building our big Future.
To ensure that big Future, the university must navigate the modern realities of higher education – shrinking budgets, declining state funding and increasing competition for new students. Expanded offerings in engineering, high-demand programs in the growing health sciences field and a commitment to access and support for all students are some of the reasons why I believe EWU is positioned to succeed in this competitive climate.
The University is focusing on four key areas in its new strategic plan to build Eastern’s big Future.
With enrollment now at more than 12,500, it is imperative student success remains our primary focus. EWU is dedicated to maintaining an environment where students will thrive. By creating greater access to student support services, Eastern is providing the necessary resources to support all students so they can earn their degree.
With outstanding programs, such as physical therapy and dental hygiene, or the new Health Informatics Technology and Management Program that ties into the Spokane medical community, EWU is contributing to the advancement of community health. The university also facilitates the advancement of economic vitality through its Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis, which provides many communities with critical data to make long-range planning decisions.
Eastern’s Get Lit! Festival is already nationally recognized as a premier literature event, and the Jazz Dialogue Festival is breaking new ground by utilizing cutting-edge technology to bring musicians from around the world together to perform in real time over a computer network. The door is also open for EWU to expand its research opportunities, from the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge on the outskirts of campus, to the archaeological dig in Cyprus led by one of our distinguished professors. And to top it off, Eastern will host the prestigious National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in the spring of 2015.
State-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly buildings create an atmosphere where students excel. Having quality classroom space gives Eastern more flexibility to provide high-demand professional degree offerings. On the heels of the renovation of historic Hargreaves Hall, Patterson Hall is the latest academic building to get a major facelift. Additionally, a new residence hall will give generations of students a top-notch living facility. And an investment in athletic facilities will help our student athletes who compete in NCAA Division I sports.
Eastern has a vision which will enhance our strengths and solidify the university’s important role in the region’s economy, all while providing students with an excellent higher education experience at a great value.
We invite you to join the effort to help EWU guarantee a big Future.