Regents approve medical college staffing, budget requests

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Board of Regents today authorized the hiring of administrative staff, faculty, and operating staff for the new Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane and approved a capital budget request of $192.7 million and an operating budget request of $67 million for the 2017-2019 biennium.

The regents also approved tuition rates for the 2016-2017 academic year, including a legislatively authorized reduction in resident undergraduate tuition of ten percent. Under the reduced tuition rate, the annual cost of resident undergraduate tuition will be reduced from $10,356 in 2015-2016 to $9,324 in 2016-2017. Most other tuition rates will remain the same.

The $67 million biennial operating budget request approved by the regents includes $43.5 million in annual salary increases of four percent for faculty, staff and graduate students in both years of the biennium, as well as approximately $10.8 million in support of the new College of Medicine.  Major components of the $192.7 biennial capital request include $58.9 million for construction of a new WSU Pullman Plant Sciences project and $38.1 million for construction of the WSU Pullman Global Animal Health Phase 2 project. Both budget resolutions authorize the WSU president to make any necessary changes or adjustments before final submission to the state Office of Financial Management.

The board also elected Regent Lura J. Powell to succeed Regent Chair T. Ryan Durkan as Chair of the Board of Regents. The one-year term begins May 16, 2016.  Regent Theodor Baseler was elected Vice Chair and will act as Chair pro tempore in the absence of the Chair.

In other actions, the regents:

  • approved a recommendation restoring the name of Honors Hall on the WSU Pullman campus to “Elmina White Honors Hall,” in honor of a former student and faculty member who was instrumental in the development of the school lunch program and the 4-H youth program.
  • approved a recommendation re-naming the West Building on the campus of WSU Tri-Cities as the “Elson S. Floyd Academic Building,” in honor of the university’s late president.
  • approved resolutions accepting services & activities fees for summer 2016 and academic year 2016-2017 as presented by the Services and Activities Fees committees from across the WSU system and authorizing a fee increase of six percent, or $32 annually, for WSU Vancouver.
  • approved, for fiscal year 2017, a Student Technology Fee Committee recommendation for a $20 per semester student technology fee for undergraduate students which took effect fall semester 2015. The committee recommendations were based on a review of funding requests from a variety of university groups for technology projects which will benefit WSU students and approved by a majority vote of the ASWSU-Pullman Senate.
  • adopted amendments to Facility Use Rules for First Amendment /Free Speech Activities, clarifying limitations on non-university groups and individuals and broadening public forum areas to include all facilities, at all campuses, with the exception of the interior or immediate vicinity of facilities used to support university research, academic instruction, or health services.
  • approved recommendations from the WSU Provost to discontinue master’s and doctoral degrees in Counseling Psychology and a doctoral degree in Higher Education within the College of Education.
  • adopted changes to the Faculty Manual related to the annual review process, patent policy, and disciplinary process and procedures as recommended by the Faculty Affairs Committee.
  • approved recommendations establishing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry, a Master of Science Degree in Software Engineering, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Software Engineering at the WSU Pullman and Everett Campuses and  a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Analytics at the WSU Pullman, Everett, Global, and Vancouver Campuses.
  • approved recommendations extending a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering to the Olympic College in Bremerton, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics to WSU Vancouver, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economic Sciences to the Global Campus, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Arts to WSU Tri-Cities, Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology to WSU Tri-Cities,and a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering to WSU Vancouver.
  • approved recommendations replacing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication & Society, Strategic Communication, and Journalism & Media Production.
  • approved a recommendation establishing a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences on the WSU Tri-Cities Campus.
  • approved recommended revisions to the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Constitution and Bylaws to more accurately describe the organization and proceedings within GPSA.

Media contact:

Robert Strenge, WSU News, 509-335-3583,