Leadership and the Drive to 25

A nationally respected leader in higher education, Dr. Kirk H. Schulz became the 11th president of WSU and a tenured professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering on June 13, 2016. He previously served seven years as president of Kansas State University, where he guided KSU to significant achievements in research, enrollment, and fundraising. President Schulz is married to Noel Nunnally Schulz, a nationally known expert in power systems engineering and also a professor in the Voiland College.

Under President Schulz’s leadership, WSU has achieved several significant milestones including:

  • Statewide enrollment totaled a record 31,607 students for the fall 2019 semester;
  • WSU Everett, the University’s newest campus, expanded its academic offerings and opened a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Everett;
  • WSU strengthened its partnership with the state wine industry, which is the second largest producer of premium wine in the country. One vibrant example of this partnership is the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center located on the campus of WSU Tri-Cities;
  • Enrollment at WSU Vancouver topped 3,500 students two consecutive years, and now more than one-third of WSU students enroll at a campus other than Pullman;
  • WSU Health Sciences Spokane reached nearly $35 million in grant and contract in Fiscal Year 2019, more than triple the amount in 2010 when the campus was initially designated as the University’s health sciences campus;
  • The Global Campus continued to expand its academic offerings to meet student demand, adding four new degree programs and developing 71 new online courses in the past year.

President Schulz is guiding the Drive to 25, a system-wide effort launched in the fall of 2016 to boost WSU to recognized status as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030. The initiative is the University’s highest strategic priority, identifying objectives which guide decisions about institutional goals, priorities, and financial investments affecting WSU’s teaching, research, and service mission. The University’s senior leadership team and deans have identified eleven metrics by which to measure progress:

  • Federal research and development expenditures
  • Faculty awards
  • National Academy membership
  • Citations: Thomson Reuters InCites
  • Total research and development expenditures
  • Doctorates awarded
  • Annual giving
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • Percentage of undergraduates involved in research, scholarship, and creative discovery
  • Placement rate of graduates
  • Percentage of diverse faculty, staff, and students

The Drive to 25 builds on the cornerstones of the University’s Strategic Plan and its two primary goals: offering a transformative educational experience to undergraduate and graduate students, and accelerating the development of a preeminent research portfolio. The University is currently in the midst of creating its first comprehensive system plan, which will address the years 2020-2025. The plan is expected to be finalized in 2020.