State of the University Recap

By Lauren Reichenbach, Co-Managing Editor/Copy Editor


David May began his 21st year at Eastern Washington University stepping in as interim president. In a State of the University address given on Sept. 22, May talked about how grateful he was for this opportunity and addressed his short term and long term plans for the university’s success.

“While I was initially reluctant to enter the world of administration,” said May, “I saw in each opportunity a moment, a moment to help intentionally shape the future of Eastern.”

May said the next year for EWU will be full of difficult decisions that must be made in order for the university to remain successful.

“We cannot be what we have been,” said May. “What we do in the coming year will determine what Eastern will look like for the next 20 years and how we will continue to deliver the promise that is an Eastern education.”

The upcoming year will see many changes in EWU. May and his team will be closely reevaluating the programs, majors and minors the university is offering, and ultimately will have to make some difficult choices in which ones they choose to discontinue. May said the current state of the university is not sustainable and the number of programs offered needs to be reduced and refocused.

“No programs at Eastern are simply disposable, [But] we know we cannot be all things to all people.” -David May, interim president

“No programs at Eastern are simply disposable,” said May, which will make his upcoming choices even more difficult. “[But] we know we cannot be all things to all people.”

May touched on the new leadership the university received this year, as well as the ongoing athletic reviews being made.

Though May delivered his address on the 49th day of his interim presidency, he announced five themes he wanted to focus on for his first 100 days, as well as five long term themes he hopes to carry the university with throughout the year.

His themes for his first 100 days in office are:

  1. Internal presence at the university
  2. Internal communication
  3. Building and extending external relations
  4. External communication
  5. Building leadership capacity

May’s long term themes for the university are:

  1. Articulating and extending an institutional commitment diversity, equity, and inclusion
  2. Students success, retention graduation
  3. Expanding Eastern’s leadership and partnership within the institution
  4. Moving forward decisively toward a resized and refocused university
  5. Stewardship of the “quiet phase” of the comprehensive campaign

May said the state of Washington will struggle with lack of resources and tight budgets for at least the next five years. However, he believes by restructuring the university now, he will be helping set EWU up for success for many years to come.

“For now,” said May, “please stay safe, and for our part here at Eastern, we will continue to be Eagle Strong.”