Feb. 10, 2012
I hope you are all having a productive winter quarter. We finally received some real winter weather, blanketing the campus with a beautiful white coat while adding a little excitement to the past month. As they do every year, our maintenance crews did a great job clearing walks and parking lots so we could all get around. I would like to thank everyone for their effort and patience when the weather gets a bit treacherous.
The quarter got off to a rousing start with the annual Jazz Dialogue Festival, which moved from its traditional November slot to January. It was great to have so many talented young musicians from around the region visit Eastern, as they brought their energy and enthusiasm to campus.
This has been a very important time for my office, with many critical items I would like to briefly address.
I have made several trips to Olympia to meet with lawmakers to urge them to support higher education as they prepare to address the latest budget issues. During one visit in January, I was joined by Trustees Paul Tanaka and Mark Mays for a special day that included leaders from all the state universities. This was a great opportunity to visit with lawmakers and address how continued funding cuts and tuition increases will impact students if we don’t find a stable solution.
As we have successfully done over the past year, we continue to educate legislators about EWU’s mission, programs and unique student population.
I was also excited to recently participate in a historic education funding forum featuring the presidents of the state’s six public universities. The event was part of The Greater good Campaign, a yearlong public service effort sponsored by The Seattle Times newspaper. The goal is to reverse the troubling four-year trend of cutting the higher education budget, while encouraging lawmakers to recommit to supporting access and opportunities so our students can thrive in the global economy.
The education forum, in particular, was a chance for the presidents to communicate how the cuts have impacted their schools, and to illustrate why each dollar spent on higher education is like a long-term investment in jobs for the state. This type of unity and common message will only help our cause, and I'm encouraged by the efforts to communicate such a positive message to our leaders. When there is more specific news on the budget itself, I will share that information with you.
Eastern continues to look for unique and innovative ways of fulfilling our mission of student success. The launch of Eastern’s "Inspiring the Future" strategic planning effort this spring will be an instrumental part of that mission in the coming years.
Thank you all for everything you do for EWU, I look forward to seeing you around campus as we head toward spring!
Rodolfo Arévalo, PhD
2012 Jazz Dialogue Festival
President Arévalo at Greater good Campaign forum
Conversing with presidents from CWU and WSU
University presidents give thumbs up to education
For all these photos and more check out EWU’s Flickr photo share.