About WAGS

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A Message from the 2018-2019 President

Dear WAGS Colleagues,

Whether you are a returning member, a prospective member, or a new member, welcome to WAGS! It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as the WAGS President this year and to have the chance to work with you on advancing graduate education.

The Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS), founded in 1958, is the Western regional affiliate of the Council of Graduate Schools. Our 2019 meeting in Tucson, Arizona will mark the 61st meeting of WAGS. I’ve been a member of WAGS since 2014 and in the past five years I’ve had the chance to work with outstanding leaders and have witnessed the organization take on new challenges, increase its membership, modernize its management and website, and expand networking opportunities and resources for members. That progress continues. Thanks to initiatives started by Past-Presidents Kate Horgan and Rebecca Annerud, we’re creating a members-only page on our website where you can find an archive of slides and resource materials from our conferences. We also plan to provide toolkits for deans and associate deans; and create a forum for just-in-time issues and questions.

Like our graduate programs, WAGS is constantly developing to meet the needs of our changing world. At our Las Vegas meeting in 2018 the WAGS Board voted to establish member subcommittees to provide more opportunities for you to actively participate in the advancement of our association. I hope that you will consider joining one of the WAGS subcommittees to help improve: membership, communications, conference planning, and the solicitation and review of ProQuest Awards.

The value of WAGS comes from the collegiality and collaboration our organization promotes. The distinctive qualities of our Western region shape our mindset and our opportunities. Open skies, broad horizons, and bold landscapes invite a corresponding openness to new possibilities. Drawing inspiration from place, we extend the frontiers of knowledge in unexplored directions. seeking new pathways and partners for instruction, research, and creative production.

“Graduate Education: Innovating Within and Beyond the Academy,” is our theme for the 61st annual meeting of WAGS 61st annual meeting to take place in Tucson, Arizona, March 3-6, 2019, and it recognizes our ongoing exploration of new directions in education, research, creative production, and employment.

Topics we plan to address include:

  • Employment Pathways; putting graduate degrees to work in industry, the community; identifying prospects in the western U.S.
  • Finding growth in graduate education on the international stage
  • Improving training for graduate teaching and research assistants
  • Student support networks across universities
  • Mentoring Sessions for Graduate Administrators; New Deans’ Workshops; Exploring the Distinctive Expectations for Associate Deans
  • Faculty Directors for Graduate Initiatives; Expanding University Partnerships to Better Support Graduate Education
  • And more…

Please plan on attending and participating in our program. Send us your ideas! The call for presentations will be posted soon in the conference page of our website. If you are not yet an institutional member of WAGS, please visit our membership page and join us.

Thanks for all you do. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Janet Sturman, Ph.D.
University of Arizona


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.

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