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Central Washington University

COVID-19 Update: Message from Board of Trustees

Thursday, April 2, 2020

CWU Board of Trustees Seal

CWU Community,

The Board of Trustees are proud of how you have responded to the health crisis we face. We applaud the hard work of our faculty, who have moved their lessons online in a very tight timeframe. We commend our students, many of whom are learning remotely for the first time. We are grateful for our staff, who continue their work from home or are practicing social distancing.

The Trustees met on Tuesday and re-stated our unequivocal support for the mission of the university, including the importance of continuing to provide a first-class education, based on our shared values of experiential learning and personal service, for all students who want to pursue higher education.

Trustees have been meeting regularly to discuss how CWU must adapt to this unprecedented situation. The trustees value discussions that are candid, frank and transparent, even on difficult topics. The Board made no new decisions on March 31 about CWU’s path forward, because the information required to do so is not yet available. We will continue to monitor the situation in concert with senior administrative leadership, health and government officials. If we find it necessary to do so, we will act responsibly and in concert with the values of this great institution. 

We are not only trustees; we are alumni who benefited from the quality of Central’s learning environment and the values that serve as its foundation. It remains our firm belief that the key to Central’s success is its faculty and staff. Student achievement is the measure of our success.  

As you know, the university has already taken immediate measures to preserve our finances. We put a hold on all university-related travel, instituted a freeze on all hiring, and restricted purchasing to essential functions and services. This is not enough to keep us financially sustainable. We find ourselves, like so many other public institutions, in the position to examine reductions in support areas, and exploring all viable options to reduce costs.

A critical factor moving forward is our enrollment. As an institution, we must do everything in our power to try to ensure that current and potential students continue to recognize the intrinsic value of a Central education.

As President Gaudino has stated before, a large part of our strength as a community is our focus on the values that are part of our CWU culture. These values have guided us through the years and will help us to overcome these difficult and unprecedented challenges.

• Ensuring the welfare of our community: The health, safety, and well-being of our community have always been important. 
• Academic excellence:  Student achievement is why we exist, and we must hold to that commitment.
• Sustainability:  We must make sound financial decisions and manage our resources to sustain the institution in the long-term.

We thank you for your continued understanding and hard work during this difficult time. Please know that whatever decisions we ultimately must make, we will do so in the best interests of our students, faculty, and staff.

Sincerely,
Ron Erickson's Signature
Ronald Erickson
Chair
Central Washington University
Board of Trustees

Robert Nellams's Signature
Robert Nellams
Vice Chair
Central Washington University
Board of Trustees

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