Welcome from the 2017-2018 President
Dear WAGS Colleagues,
Hello! It is a pleasure and honor to serve as the WAGS President this year. The Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) is the Western regional affiliate of the Council of Graduate Schools. WAGS was founded in 1958 and held our first annual WAGS conference that year, making our organization almost 60 years old! In the last several years, WAGS has been lead by strong and visionary colleagues, and I am grateful for their leadership and mentorship. This year, my goals are twofold: first, to try to piece together more of our collective history in honor of our 60th annual conference in 2018, and second, to work on modernizing our organization by updating our membership database and website, establishing a networking and resource sharing listserv, and expanding our membership to more broadly represent the diversity of graduate institutions in the US West, Canada, Mexico and the Pacific Rim. We are stronger when we work together to face common challenges and collaborate to advance graduate education.
Our 2017 WAGS conference in Seattle thematically focused on “Expanding the Reach of Graduate Education.” This is really at the heart of what we do in graduate education: we work to expand access, to cultivate and inspire talent, to support innovative research, scholarship and creative activities, and, as advocates, to educate others about the wide-ranging and positive impacts of graduate education. As Deans, directors, and graduate school staff, we also labor around common issues, such as:
- funding and budgeting in an era of declining government investment and concerns about student debt;
- ways to foster excellence in the midst of dramatic technological change;
- how to assess quality amidst new forms of knowledge production and dissemination;
- envisioning and enacting innovative program development and delivery that aligns graduate degrees with student career pathways;
- cultivating diversity among our students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to enrich the graduate experience;
- situating the value and impact of graduate education in the context of contemporary issues that impact student migration, the globalization of higher education, and the national and international role that graduate education plays in ensuring a brighter common future.
It is these and related topics that we’ll address together at our 2018 WAGS conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our theme will be “Graduate Education in a Changing Landscape” and our workshops, panels, and plenaries will celebrate 60 years of WAGS by considering the evolving landscape of graduate education that impacts us, our faculty, our students, and our communities. We’ll also focus on innovations that provide opportunities to (re)imagine the future of graduate education. So, please save March 18-21, 2018, and plan to join us for our WAGS 60th celebration in Las Vegas!
In the meantime, if you’re not yet an institutional member of WAGS, I invite you to visit our membership page and join us. Since we’re working on collecting items to build our institutional history, if you or anyone you know has any old conference programs, WAGS photos, other momentos, or personal stories about our 60 year WAGS history, please reach out and share it with us via email at WAGSofficer@gmail.com.
Thanks for all you do and I look forward to seeing you at the CGS meetings in Colorado and Arizona, and at our WAGS conference next March!
All my best,
Kate Hausbeck Korgan, Ph.D.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The primary purpose of the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) is “the consideration of mutual problems among the member institutions, relating to graduate studies and research.” WAGS cooperates with other institutions, agencies, and businesses for this purpose by dissemination of information, improvement of standards, encouragement of research, and assistance to institutions embarking on graduate programs.
The members of WAGS are accredited institutions of higher education in the western United States, Canada and Pacific Rim that offer Master’s and Doctoral degrees. WAGS is a regional association affiliated with the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools.