University address by Cullinan sets college goals


Photo by Tanner Streicher

Mary Cullinan at the Passing Through the Pillars event on Sept. 23

By Nathan Peters, Managing Editor

University President Mary Cullinan, Ph.D., gave her first State of the University address on Oct. 3. Her speech to colleagues gave updates on the university’s progress on goal completion over the past year and outlined future initiatives Eastern strive for in the coming year.

Some of the future initiatives given in the speech included the most up-to-date in student advising, mentorship programs connecting new students with staff and faculty advisers, incorporating civic engagement in courses and a scholarship fundraising campaign for EWU students.

“Some of those [initiatives], as we described, are pretty ambitious,” said Amy Johnson, Ed.D., associate vice president for Student Life and dean of students. Johnson is on the president’s cabinet; she will have a role in helping communicate and implement these initiatives across campus.

Stacey Morgan Foster, J.D., vice president of student affairs, said although these are ambitious goals, “…we’re all very enthusiastic about the direction the campus is going.” Morgan Foster is part of the president’s executive committee.

The implementation process is still in the developmental stage, according to Morgan Foster. Johnson said, “[It’s] a little early to say explicitly what we’ll be doing. … [I] anticipate we’ll all be members of the teams to make it happen.”

Morgan Foster said a lot of people would like to see advising improve, but the whole campus needs to make it a priority for that to happen. She said, “It’s about how we make the campus experience better for students who are here and how they can be more successful.”

Adaptability was identified as key theme in the speech. “I hope people will see the value in collaboration, in our working together to keep the university strong and to serve students in the best ways possible,” said Cullinan via email.

Johnson said, “[What] I appreciated about her State of the University speech was the discussion about culture and working together and collaboration.”

With culture always changing, the university must adapt to these changes and stay a place that “continues to transform lives for the next decade,” said Cullinan in her speech.

“We need to continue striving to meet and exceed our mission and goals, to reach out to students and help them be successful,” she said.

Throughout her speech, Cullinan mentioned the university is “moving the needle.” She said, “I believe this university is poised to become recognized nationally as well as statewide for the work we do.”

Johnson said Eastern is doing “big things” across Washington state and the university does not receive the same attention as some of the other larger universities in the state. She said, “We want to change that so our students and our alumni and our community [can] be recognized for their contributions, that’s important.”

To view the State of the University address in full-text and video, visit the Eastern 24/7 News section at