Sent June 4, 2020
Dear Student Pharmacists,
Following Chancellor Daryll DeWald’s note last Friday, I wanted to follow up on some of the reasoning behind our decision to move instruction this fall to virtual delivery and what this means for you.
While many factors contributed to our decision to move instruction to virtual delivery this fall and the goal of in-person instruction this spring, there were three overarching elements behind this choice.
- Health and safety: Your health and safety are our primary concern. We wanted to make the right decision, with the advice of local and state health officials, to ensure the safety of our students and our community. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Spokane and Yakima shows just how tenuous this public health crisis has been, and we did not want students who are at risk, or living with people who are at risk, to be faced with the difficult decision as to whether or not they should show up in person. From the feedback we received from our current cohorts, concerns around health and safety were the primary sentiment that many of them expressed as well.
- Quality education: Our college leadership is committed to delivering a high-quality education with the skills that you need to be a successful clinical practitioner. In whatever format we chose, we wanted to ensure that the caliber of education we offer would not be compromised through virtual delivery. By leveraging new technology, community relations, and creativity, our faculty are well positioned to ensure that you can receive an outstanding education from the safety of your own home. We are also proud to be offering one of the most affordable Doctor of Pharmacy programs in the West. Even compared to other states’ residential tuitions for PharmD programs, we still continue give students the best value for money.
- Timing: It was important for us to make this decision sooner rather than later so that you can plan for your future. Many of you have families, are considering housing options, and are plotting schedules for the coming academic year, and we wanted to give you enough notice to adjust accordingly. In addition, after consulting with our WSU Residency Coordinator, non-resident students who wish to seek in-state tuition will still need to establish residency in Washington for 12 months before becoming eligible to apply for resident tuition rates. We know this will impact your decision in how you plan the next few months of your lives and wanted to give you enough time to make these decisions considering your various circumstances.
I know that many of you still have questions, so I would like to invite you all to join us via Zoom for a townhall Friday, June 12, 12:00-1:00pm PST so that we can have an open and meaningful discussion and address any issues or concerns you may have.
If you have questions, I encourage you to submit them ahead of time via this link.
We know this is a difficult time for many of you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Office of Student Services so that we can support your journey as a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate. While this pandemic has been devastating for many communities, it has presented a unique learning experience for our students as future health care providers who are needed more now than ever before.
Dean Garrelts MacLean
WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences