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V. Lane Rawlins

Winter 2003

All for one, one for all

In the president’s conference room I have placed a Smithsonian Institution poster showing a group of about a dozen meerkats. For many years I have been fascinated by these small mammals, about the size of prairie dogs, that survive in the harsh conditions of the Kalahari Desert. I first learned of them in an article in the Smithsonian magazine in the early 1980s. Since that time there have been a number of studies, magazine articles, and at least three television specials on these small members of the mongoose family. They have been the subjects of extensive study, not just because they are small, cute, and … » More …

Summer 2007

World Class. Face to Face. It's not a slogan, it's a plan.

Only a little more than a year after I arrived at Washington State University, America and the world were shocked by the events now simply known as “9/1l.” It is difficult to assess how much our lives were altered by that event and the chain of actions that followed. Afghanistan and then Iraq became the centers for the “war on terrorism,” and intrusions on our freedom and privacy that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago became somewhat commonplace. The war in Iraq is now four years old, and is nothing remotely related to what we expected. Furthermore, we really do not know … » More …

Winter 2001

From the President: Quality and Reputation

I COMPLIMENT THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED in creating this new publication—Washington State Magazine. To me, it is an extension of the “World Class, Face to Face” spirit that pervades Washington State University today. I hope that our readers will learn more about things that are vital and interesting to them and that they will also come to better understand the depth and breadth of the University.

Washington State University has nearly 2,000 faculty with a vast range of interests and expertise. Together, they occupy and utilize millions of square feet of modern facilities equipped with the latest technologies and equipment. Our tenure standards are high, … » More …

Winter 2002

A compass, not a roadmap

“Guided by a plan that hundreds of WSU people worked on for more than a year, we have maintained stability in one of the toughest years in our history.” —V. Lane Rawlins

Recently, I spent a day in Kongsberg, Norway, at a company that is the world leader in development and production of dynamic stabilizers. These technological wonders are installed on ships and oil platforms in the stormy North Sea to stabilize them so that the oil fields can be worked. I was amazed at a video showing ships sitting still in a rough sea, accomplished, I was told, by precisely measuring all … » More …

Summer 2006

Can America compete in a 'Flat' World?

Many of you are familiar with Thomas Friedman’s argument, in The World is Flat, that technology has eliminated many barriers to competition and thus created today’s globally competitive economic environment. His dramatic examples of outsourcing show that key services, including high-level engineering and scientific tasks, can be effectively accomplished without regard to the workers’ physical location. This allows imaginative businesses to tap talent from around the globe, often at considerable savings.

Friedman, a foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, uses this evidence to reach some alarming conclusions about how America will fare in the future. After establishing the central thesis that location is … » More …