New campus recommendations to be enacted immediately

Washington State University’s Board of Regents approved recommendations during its March 14 meeting in Pullman concerning principles of operation and development of Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses and the overall WSU system. Items to take effect immediately include:

• A committee of regents will be established for the Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses.
• Newer campus CEOs shall be called chancellors. They will have greater authority to administer the campuses under the direction of the president and Board of Regents.
• A regent will be assigned to each campus to attend advisory board meetings and work directly with the president and campus chancellors on governance matters.
• The chancellors will have a seat at regents meetings.
• A President’s System Council — to include the president, provost and chancellors as permanent members — will deal with systemwide issues.
• A Provost’s System Council — chaired by the provost and including appropriate vice provosts and the chancellors or their designees — will consider academic plans, programs and issues for the WSU system.
• A System’s Council for Administration and Operations — to include all university vice presidents, counterparts of each campus and other officers, as necessary — will be created to consider all other issues.

Regents approved the principle for academic programs, emphasizing that the primary criteria for approving and evaluating academic programs will be quality. Secondary criteria include responsiveness to constituent needs and cost-effectiveness.

Other new policies include:
• Academic units may be established on any campus in the WSU system.
• Program administrators may reside on any campus and have responsibility for programs on other campuses.
• Doctoral education will be a systemwide responsibility. Academic programs, especially lower division coursework, shall be closely coordinated with other institutions, particularly community colleges.
• A systemwide administrator will guide relationships between the sources of academic credit.

Student Affairs recommendations will addressed later in the process. They will include proposals for efficiency and coordination in admission, scholarships, recruiting, advising, as well as recognition of separate student bodies for each campus and reconstituting a systemwide student council.

Regents also will act later on recommendations concerning faculty affairs and faculty governance. The goals are to maintain standards of excellence.

The above recommendations were developed after more than a year of study, with participation by community and university leaders. During the next 18 months, the university will work on a number of recommendations concerning the WSU system.

The regents also approved proposals concerning campus identity.

WSU Spokane is becoming a second location of the Pullman campus, with emphasis on professional and graduate programs, especially in health care, design and some management areas. The university plans to accelerate that trend in the next few years and, over time, move to a single campus with two locations. The proposal also states that the chancellor of the Spokane campus would hold the universitywide position of vice provost for health science.

WSU Vancouver campus has the challenge of needing to expand across the spectrum of academic programs. The university is committed to making the expansion via additional and innovative partnerships with local community colleges, including special institutes. The campus will have greater autonomy through creation of departments or other academic units.

The Tri-Cities campus faces many of the challenges noted for WSU Vancouver. Tri-Cities has the opportunity to partner with the community for outreach to nontraditional populations and to develop innovative programs with the agricultural industry. The campus has a major role in the university’s strategic partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and development of centers of excellence in many scientific and technical areas of research and graduate education.

Regents also approved a resolution that emphasizes the board’s support to ensure safety and freedom of speech on each campus. Regent William Marler said the resolution reaffirms how important the feeling of safety and freedom of speech are to academic freedom and diversity.

In other action, regents approved two department name changes. The Department of Rural Sociology will be called the Department of Community and Rural Sociology. The name change will reflect more accurately the teaching, research and extension interests of the department as it has evolved into a broader orientation with an emphasis on interactions within the communities.

The Department of Comparative American Cultures will be called the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies. The change is needed to reflect the national nomenclature within the discipline.