Results from WWU's 100 Conversations initiative are available for review online

More than a hundred conversations with community members, civic leaders and advocates for Western Washington University have been completed as part of President Bruce Shepard's 100 Conversations initiative.

Results from those conversations have been made available online on the 100 Conversations website.

Shepard sent a message to participants on Tuesday, June 8, recapping what has happened as the initiative progressed. Among those items:

  • The Teaching and Learning Academy at WWU has prepared a summary of the major themes present in many of the conversations.
  • The leadership of the university spent an afternoon away from campus with the agenda focused entirely upon the 100 Conversations findings and important “take aways” for Western. The minutes from that retreat also are available on the 100 Conversations website.
  • Budget writers used findings from the 100 Conversations to form the university's basic strategies and priorities in cutting 2010-11 budgets, Shepard said. "In conversations involving parents of current students, we consistently heard that while their sons and daughters loved the quality of Western’s classes, they worried whether they could get the classes needed to graduate on time," he wrote. "Consequently, we ended up cutting the budget more deeply than required by the state – by another million dollars – in order to fund extra class sections to eliminate bottlenecks to graduation." Notes in raw form from many of the conversations are available for review.
  • Shepard recently met with 200 "Western Advocates" prior to the 13th Annual Western Seattle Business forum to present findings from the 100 Conversations, using "clicker" technology to obtain immediate, real-time feedback from the audience. The audience's responses to questions posed are available in the PowerPoint and PDF documents from the presentation on the 100 Conversations website. A video of Shepard's presentation is available here.
  • The university is in the early stages of revising its strategic plan, and the findings from the 100 Conversations will fully inform those developments, Shepard said. This process begins June 10 when the Board of Trustees joins campus leadership in a roundtable discussion of strategic planning and budgeting. Background materials from the 100 Conversations are an important point of departure for those discussions. That presentation will be audiocast live online at