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Central Washington University is one of six state-supported institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The board of trustees is the university’s governing board, seven of the board’s eight members are appointed for six-year terms by Washington’s governor with consent of the state Senate. The governor appoints one student trustee annually. Central was established in 1890 as Washington State Normal School by the first legislature to fulfill the intent of the 1889 Enabling Act for Statehood. In 1891, doors opened for classes. Ellensburg Normal School became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961, and Central Washington University in 1977.
The mission of Central Washington University is to prepare students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives; to produce research, scholarship, and creative expression in the public interest; and to serve as a resource to the region and the state through effective stewardship of university resources.
Central Washington University (CWU) is a dynamic, creative, and inclusive environment that promotes engaged learning and scholarship. It is distinguished regionally for the rigor of its curriculum and scholarship, for the excellence of its pedagogy, for the vibrancy of its co-curricular and residential experiences, for its commitment to providing access to higher education, and for its efforts to advance the social and economic health of the region. It is typified by an entrepreneurial spirit that establishes it as a national leader in higher education. It has a strong commitment to engaged learning and scholarship, internationalism, sustainability, inclusiveness, and life-long learning.
Central Washington University exists to advance society through the essential activities of teaching, discovery, and service. While no one of these core elements is meaningful in isolation from the others, CWU finds it necessary to prioritize its efforts in relation to its mission, vision, values, goals, and resources. In order to maximize the value of each of the elements of its mission, CWU emphasizes the integration of scholarship, teaching, and public service. As a public comprehensive university, CWU strives to create an engaging learning environment and therefore places its highest priority on teaching, learning, and student success. The faculty is comprised of scholar-teachers working in the interests of their disciplines, and the region. CWU encourages individualized programs of student success and promotes undergraduate and graduate student-faculty partnerships that are actively engaged in discovery, creative expression, and engaged learning.
As a community dedicated to the principles of academic freedom, CWU must be an environment that promotes reasoned, civil, and lightened discourse and creative expression without fear of reprisal, ridicule, or exclusion. CWU’s educational environment must empower each person with the freedom to explore, to evaluate, and to learn.
CWU must also strive to serve its region by addressing pressing economic and social issues. As a comprehensive university, CWU must use its intellectual capacity not only to contribute to disciplinary literatures, but also to assist area business, social, and government leaders in strengthening and diversifying the area’s economic base, to help create a sustainable natural environment, and to address critical social issues.
CWU is also a place where people gather to live and to work. It must therefore be a place that enables people to grow and to prosper. In keeping with the academic values of shared governance and reasoned dialogue, the university must be open, transparent, and empowering. It follows, then, that CWU is committed to the following shared values:
Student success: CWU believes that student success is best achieved by providing supportive learning and living environments that encourage intellectual inquiry, exploration, and application. CWU believes that learning is best achieved in small classroom or group settings with ample opportunities for individualized instruction, mentoring, advising, and programming.
Access: CWU believes in providing educational opportunities to as many qualified students as possible. CWU believes that restrictions of place, time, and finances can be overcome through the effective use of partnership with community colleges and by effective and efficient use of learning, communication, and social technologies.
Engagement: CWU believes that learning, research, and creative expression are enhanced by engagement with external partners. CWU believes that as a publicly-funded institution, it has a responsibility to help address the social and economic challenges faced by our communities.
Inclusiveness: CWU believes that diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas is essential to learning, discovery, and creative expression. CWU believes that all faculty, staff, and students must be and must feel physically, professionally, and emotionally safe in order to fully engage in and benefit from the university experience.
Shared governance: CWU believes that shared governance is most effective when information systems and decision-making processes are both robust and transparent. CWU believes that communication channels should be open and two-way and that faculty, staff, and students should be empowered to participate in the governance systems.
Facilities: CWU believes that state-of-the-art, safe, and attractive facilities enhance the working and learning environments of faculty, staff, and students. CWU also believes that state-of-the-art technologies provide leverage for the efforts of faculty, staff, and students.
Safety: CWU believes it has a responsibility to providing a working and learning environment that is both physically and emotionally safe. CWU believes this responsibility extends to the off-campus environment of its full-time, residential students.
CWU’s policies and practices affirm and actively promote the rights of all individuals to equal opportunity in education and employment without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, or status as protected veterans. The university administers an affirmative action program for employment purposes and complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and executive orders. Policy statements on affirmative action, gender equity, and sexual harassment, as well as discrimination complaint and resolution policy and procedures available at www.cwu.edu/resources/reports. The person responsible for institutional compliance with most federal and state laws and institutional policies dealing with discrimination is Gail Farmer, Office for Equal Opportunity, Bouillon Hall, room 205, 509-963-2206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She also serves as the university’s Title IX coordinator. Please contact Pam Wilson, Associate Director of Disability Services for any questions or concerns related to disability-related laws and institutional policies. Bouillon Hall, room 140, 509-963-2018.
The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Some academic programs have been accredited by specialized accrediting associations, including:
- American Chemical Society
- American Council for Construction Education
- American Dietetic Association Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education
- Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS - Professions
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs
- National Association of School Psychologists
- National Association of Schools of Music
- Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology