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Washington State University Leadership and Mission

 A commitment to service

Washington State University is a public research university committed to its land-grant heritage and tradition of service to society.


To advance knowledge through creative research and scholarship across a wide range of academic disciplines.

To extend knowledge through innovative educational programs in which emerging scholars are mentored to realize their highest potential and assume roles of leadership, responsibility, and service to society.

To apply knowledge through local and global engagement that will improve quality of life and enhance the economy of the state, nation, and world.


What is a “land-grant” university?

The Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 answered demand for practical education that was accessible to agricultural and industrial workers. The legislation granted federally controlled land to the states, which states could then sell to fund establishment of “land-grant” colleges. Curricula at land grant institutions served a broad swath of the population by focusing on agriculture and technical subjects.

Ensuing legislation established an agricultural experiment station with each land-grant institution. Cooperative extension services were created to circulate information about the stations’ research findings.

Washington State College was established in 1890 as a land-grant institution. It has become a distinguished public research university, but its mission remains rooted in accessibility and public service.

Strategic plan

The 2014-19 strategic plan sets forth goals and strategies that will enable WSU to progress toward its aspiration of becoming one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement, by 2030. The statewide initiative to achieve top 25 status is known as the “Drive to 25.”



On March 25, 2016, the Board of Regents named Kirk H. Schulz, president of Kansas State University, as the 11th president of Washington State University. President Schulz took office on June 13.



Academic affairs

Office of the Provost