WSU Regents Hear Details of New Undergraduate Education Center

SEATTLE, Wash. — Washington State University’s new Center for Undergraduate Education was reviewed by the university’s Board of Regents during its meeting held today (Nov. 16) at WSU West in Seattle’s Pike Tower.

WSU President V. Lane Rawlins called the 94,000-plus-square-foot facility a revolutionary concept in education. It opens on the Pullman campus in January with two auditoriums, 17 state-of-the-art flexible and innovative classrooms and a cyber café.

“The facility creates an environment that is in alignment with one of the university’s strategic goals of offering the best undergraduate experience at a research university,” the president said.

Doug Baker, vice provost for academic affairs, said the center will offer four areas of specialty: the Writing Program; General Education Program; Student Computing Services; and the Center for Teaching and Learning Technology. The goals are to increase interactive relationships between faculty and students, increase students’ abilities in writing, help faculty develop stronger and more effective course curriculum, and provide education in critical thinking.

As part of the services, there will also be walk-in tutorial services, an on-line writing lab and writing assessments with supplemental instruction, Baker said.

Also during the board meeting, Washington State University’s new publication, Washington State Magazine, was unveiled. The new publication will be distributed to more than 163,000 people, including parents of students, alumni and trustees. The premier issue includes a special in-depth article explaining how Washington state came to produce some of the world’s greatest wines.

The meeting in Seattle also was the last for out-going board member Richard Davis now of Silverdale. The board recognized and praised the retiring regent for his 11 years of service. Regent Robert Fukai, board president now from Olympia, acknowledged Davis for his distinguished career as a WSU regent. Regent Kenneth Alhadeff of Seattle said Davis “engaged in the betterment of the human condition.”

New regent Stephen Hill of Federal Way was introduced. Hill said he was looking forward to working with the board, and he was raised in a family that valued higher education.

Ron Hopkins, outgoing interim provost, was acknowledged for his service by Rawlins, who praised Hopkins for his integrity and intelligence, saying Hopkins’ efforts have been meaningful to WSU.

The new provost, Robert Bates, a longtime Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University administrator, will assume the position in January.