Eagle 1 Newsletter: January 2023
Monthly Message from EWU President Shari McMahan
Dear Eagle Family and Friends,
Happy New Year! Last week we welcomed students back from the holiday break, and classes are up and running for winter term 2023. Eastern Washington University is ready for the new year and all the opportunities it holds for new experiences, new events and new memories. I love a vibrant, busy campus! Seeing our students make their way to classes, hang out in the PUB and attend basketball games has been a welcome sight.
It was also great to attend our Winter New Student Orientation program (photos on the left), where I ate dinner with the newest Eagles as they learned about all the programs and support available as they begin their journey at Eastern.
In December, we announced that EWU will begin a strategic resource allocation process to better position our institution to meet the needs of students and our community. Throughout 2023, our faculty and staff will be examining every academic program and support function that Eastern offers to determine where we may need to shift our funding priorities. We pride ourselves on graduating students with marketable degrees who will power the workforce of our state and region, and we are committed to ensuring that this continues for generations to come.
The higher education needs of today are very different from those of even a few years ago. Our students will benefit from attending a university that invests in the most relevant programs and offers the support resources needed for their success. This resource allocation process is the first step as we begin to build out a new strategic plan for Eastern, one that will allow us to embrace our history while envisioning an even brighter future.
And as we look to ensure our programs are meeting the needs of our students and community, we will also be undergoing national searches for the vice presidents and executive leadership positions following contract expirations. The executive leadership team oversees all facets of university life, and a search process is being conducted to ensure transparency and make sure our leadership is fully committed to the work ahead. Most importantly, we will make sure that there is continuity and stability for faculty, staff and students during these searches. More information will be shared prior to each position search.
We recently observed the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a landmark law that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression in any federally funded school or educational program. For women, Title IX opened a pathway to equity in higher education, making campuses safer and creating greater opportunities to pursue their passions without barriers.
Most notably, Title IX changed the landscape of women’s collegiate athletics by requiring equitable opportunities across sports programs. EWU offers eight intercollegiate sport programs for women: volleyball, soccer, basketball, cross country, tennis, golf and indoor/outdoor track and field. We are proud of our women student-athletes who excel in the classroom and in their sport while enriching our campus and community life. On January 21, our women’s basketball team will celebrate the anniversary of Title IX during their annual Alumni and Family Day game at Reese Court. We hope you can join us!
Finally, on Monday we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Members of the campus community gathered together with EWU’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the greater Spokane community at the MLK Day Unity Rally, March and Resource Fair. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday that is also designated as a national day of service, and I’m grateful to the organizers and everyone who demonstrated their Eagle pride at this powerful community event.
Shari McMahan, PhD
Eastern Washington University