WSU regents approve Food Quality Building addition

By Kathy Barnard, WSU University Communications

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Creamery will be able to turn a drain on its resources into a possible new revenue stream and educational tool, thanks to action by the WSU Board of Regents today.

The regents approved a $4 million addition to the Food Quality Building to house a new whey processing room.

Whey is a byproduct of cheese making with nutritious components that larger-scale cheese makers are able to process into valuable commodities. However, the WSU Creamery is not equipped for processing and must pay for disposal of the whey it produces. The whey processing room will allow the creamery to convert a portion of the whey into marketable products and provide whey processing experience to students.

The creamery is a self-supporting unit of the School of Food Science in WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. In addition to providing part-time jobs for up to 70 students per year, revenue from the sales of ice cream and cheese helps support teaching and research. One of the largest university creameries in the nation, WSU produces Cougar Gold cheese varieties as well as Ferdinand’s ice cream.

The board also approved plans to bestow an honorary doctorate degree on Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch Investment Properties and a lifelong champion and patron of the arts.

He has created one of the largest collections of contemporary fine art prints, which is widely and publicly shared. He and his family foundation have funded and organized more than 90 exhibitions of work from his collection, which has traveled to more than 60 museums.

Schnitzer has been widely recognized with many awards for his civic and cultural leadership; in 2011, the University of Oregon renamed its art museum in his honor to recognize his 26 years of leadership there. He has been a strong proponent for construction of a new Museum of Art at WSU.

Board members also heard reports about:

• Schematic designs for the new Spokane Teaching Health Center project, a Washington nonprofit corporation formed to serve as the teaching health center for graduate medical education, provide primary health care services and serve as the center sponsor. WSU is a member of the consortium creating the center along with Providence Health & Services and the Empire Health Foundation

• Renovation of the third floor of the Washington Building on the Pullman campus to provide a new home for Counseling Testing Services and Behavioral Health Services. The move will consolidate services of WSU Health and Wellness in a single location

• New Vice President for Research Chris Keane’s 120-day, university-wide study of how to support and enhance WSU’s research enterprise

• ASWSU’s “It’s On Cougs!” campaign, an extension of the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign. WSU students are working on a variety of educational and advocacy activities to prevent sexual assault.

Kathy Barnard, WSU University Communications, 509-335-8055,