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2019 State of the University Address

Speakers included Robert Nellams, Director of the Seattle Center and Vice Chair of Central’s Board of Trustees, and James L. Gaudino, President of Central Washington University.

Nellams offered a personal narrative that illustrated the importance of developing relationships with mentors and remaining true to your personal values and character. Nellams said it was important to periodically take a hard look at the direction of your life to make sure you are on the path that makes you happiest.

Gaudino spoke about the university’s recent successes and the need to build on those successes in order to maintain momentum into the future. He reiterated Central’s commitment to being welcoming and making student feel they belong. He established three university-wide goals:

Goal #1 - To increase the first-year to second-year student retention rate from 71 percent to 80 percent over the next five years. To do this, he said the university must find new ways to create and sustain an environment where our students feel welcome and are supported by the institution, and want to return to complete their degree programs and graduate.

Goal #2 To increase the diversity of our faculty and staff by 5 percent in five years. The president said he wants faculty, students, prospective students, and staff to feel welcome and that they belong at the university. Achieving this will, he added, will require making the university as accepting and inviting as possible in order to expand the pool of qualified candidates for open positions.

Goal #3 To reduce the campus carbon footprint by 5 percent within the next five years. He called on the university community to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle for the health of the planet and the health and future of students.

Remarks as delivered.

James L. Gaudino

Robert Nellams

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