WSU President Kirk Schulz

WSU President Kirk Schulz

PULLMAN - The Washington State University administration is looking into the institution’s significant drop in U.S. News & World Report’s annual best colleges ranking.

WSU dropped 36 spots to 212th in this year’s ranking. WSU President Kirk Schulz and WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton were asked about the ranking plunge during Thursday’s Faculty Senate meeting. President Schulz didn’t mince words about his reaction to the ranking drop.

"Our ranking sucked," said Schulz. "I mean, my first question was, 'let's get some information as to why or what went down, because I don't think we've done anything drastically differently in the last several years that would suggest that those should drop."

He continued, "Before coming back and waving our hands, pointing fingers and blaming U.S. News & World Report, we'd much rather look at the data to see where it is and figure out is this something we want to address, or can address. We'll be prepared to talk more about that in the next month or two when we actually have some solid data information."

President Schulz also informed the senators that the athletics department plan to pay back its accumulated debt will be presented in the spring. President Schulz has stated repeatedly over the years that Cougar Athletics will repay its total accumulated debt back to the university. The total debt amount is currently expected to increase to 77 million dollars during fiscal year 2025. That’s according to a document that was presented to the WSU Regents last week.

President Schulz and Chancellor Chilton also addressed the institution’s ongoing enrollment declines during the meeting. WSU enrollment this fall is down nearly 8% from a year ago.