At the White House

May 2012

I recently accepted an invitation from the White House for a meeting with Education Secretary  Arne Duncan and other senior White House advisors to discuss issues on higher education relative to assess, affordability, student success  and accountability.  This invitation was extended to several presidents across the United States with similar institutional traits such as high Pell grant recipients and student enrollment under 5,000.  The background for this meeting is based on President Obama’s education blueprint: educating our way to an economy build to last, higher education access and success, reforming K-12 education to prepare all students for college and career, and investing in our students and in the future.  We all accepted President Obama’s call that all Americans commit to at least one year of higher education or career training, and we also accepted the challenge to do what is necessary for America to once again have the highest share of college graduates in the world by 2020.  It is important for WAU to be at the table and actively participate in such discussions.  One primary reason is that our student’s dependence on federal and state financial aid funds.  Many of our students cannot afford private higher education and these federal funds play a major role in funding their preparation for a lifelong career.  Our university is sensitive to these issues and that is the reason for WAU’s Vision 2020.

Vision 2020 is a continuation of the strategic planning process to create a culture of excellence at Washington Adventist University.  Based on various assessments that were conducted at various times throughout the past four years such as graduate surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, learning outcomes and Middle States self-study, we now have the data that will guide us to develop action plans that will transform us into a thriving university that is continuously fulfilling the vision of producing graduates that demonstrate competence and moral leadership to their communities.  We will continue to develop game changing actions, under the six institutional pillars of excellence: quality, people, finance, growth service, and community.

This is Washington Adventist University.