Welcome from Enrollment and Student Services
As we begin a new academic year, I join many voices in welcoming you to—or back to—Western, and renewing our commitment to make the values of the Strategic Plan visible in all that we do. Our commitment to student success is the first value you’ll see in our Strategic Plan, and we are focusing our attention on that primary responsibility in many ways this year.
We continue to advance our progress in making Western a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse institution. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage is updated regularly and includes new actions and plans as well as a record of recently concluded actions. The new Tribal Relations webpage is up, and contains valuable links and information. On Oct. 10, we will celebrate the Grand Opening of the Multicultural Center, an eagerly-awaited event! In the Fall Quarter, we will begin national searches for a Director of Multicultural Student Services, and a coordinator for intercultural dialogue and training—new positions to support co-curricular learning and development. Western will be celebrating our first Indigenous People’s Day on October 14th, with a dinner and program in the Viking Union, as part of a multi-institution local collaboration with Whatcom Community College and Northwest Indian College. It will be a great opportunity to learn about and reflect on our historic and contemporary relationships with indigenous and Native peoples, and to envision a better future. Of course, these highlights represent just some of the work going on in academic departments, student organizations, and offices across campus.
Enrollment and Student Services welcomed two new senior staff colleagues this summer: Shelli Soto, J.D., the new (and first) Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, who leads Admissions, Financial Aid, New Student Services/Family Outreach, and the Registrar’s Office; and Dr. Sislena Ledbetter, Executive Director of Counseling, Health and Wellness. We are concluding a search for the leader of a new office, Western Success Scholars, which will serve former and current foster and unaccompanied homeless youth.
There will be new opportunities for students to share their ideas, perspectives, and feedback, as we implement a new Vice President’s Advisory Council. The Council, made up of a broad cross-section of Western students, will meet regularly with me to discuss issues, plans, and initiatives of interest to students. Watch for announcements later in October.
I’m looking forward to an exciting and productive year, with many opportunities for new partnerships and initiatives, progress, and change. Your engagement, feedback, and insight will be essential to Western’s success, and I am appreciative of all you’ve already offered, and what you will bring this year.
With very best wishes for an amazing Fall Quarter,
WWU Vice President of Enrollment & Student Services