March 21, 2008

The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 9:00 a.m., on Friday, March 21, 2008, at WSU Tri-Cities, Consolidated Information Center, Room 120, Richland, Washington.

Present:  Regent Francois Forgette, Vice Chair; Regents Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, William Gordon, Connie Niva (via teleconference), V. Rafael Stone, and Michael Worthy; President Elson S. Floyd, and Executive Assistant to the Board of Regents Christine Hoyt.

1.         Report from the Vice Chair of the Board of Regents. Regent Forgette welcomed everyone to the meeting. He thanked Chancellor Carwein and her staff for hosting the Regents.   He also commented to President Floyd that the Board has asked him to make a few comments about his performance since they are embarking on his one-year anniversary.  He said that the Board is delighted with the job he is doing and how happy they are to have him and Mrs. Floyd at WSU.  Regent Forgette also reported that since the last meeting, much has taken place.  He indicated that the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory Building at the Tri-Cities campus has been completed and that an international researcher star, Dr. Birgitte Ahring, has joined WSU as the Director of the Bioproducts Center.   He added that the BSEL Building was a $24.8 million project with a total of 57,000 square feet and represents one of many partnerships to come between WSU and PNNL.  He also congratulated the WSU Cougar Basketball Team for its successful season.

2.         Report from the President of the University.  President Elson S. Floyd thanked the Board for their kind words and support.  He commended the Faculty Senate for embracing two very important initiatives for the University: the establishment of the School of Global Animal Health and designation of the Murrow School as the Murrow College.  He reported that Erica Austin has agreed to serve as Dean for the College until a search is completed next year.  Dr. Floyd also reported that discussions are taking place with the Pullman City Council on designation of a University District for the Southern part of College Hill and that they have received much enthusiasm among the student leadership.  Lastly, he commended Chancellor Carwein for her leadership at the Tri-Cities Campus and the entire community.  He said that the Tri-Cities campus is on the cutting edge of change and the overall effort associated with sustainability, bioproducts, and biofuels.  He said that WSU is not alone in this important priority for the State and that we have wonderful partners in the Tri-Cities and that we will do all we can to continue to embrace the direction that WSU has laid forth and he thanked her for her leadership.

3.         Consent Agenda.

a) Amendment to Washington Administration Code (WAC) Chapter 504-45-080, Review of Denials of Public Records. 

b) Amendments to Washington Administration Code (WAC) Chapters 504-14, 504-15, and 504-19; the parking rules for the WSU Spokane, Pullman, and Vancouver Campuses.  

c) Amendments to Washington Administration Code (WAC) Chapters 504-14, 504-15, and 504-19; the parking rules for the WSU Spokane, Pullman, and Vancouver Campuses.  


4.         Focused Discussion.  Vicky Carwein, Chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities provided a Powerpoint presentation about WSU Tri-Cities.  Her overview included a brief history of Education Excellence at WSU Tri-Cities.  She also introduced researcher Dr. Birgitte Ahring, who has agreed to serve as director of the Center for Bioproducts Center; freshmen Ms. Sarah Sanchez, and Rebecca Samuel who provided remarks to the Board.

Regent Stone asked Dr. Carwein to expand on the short-term issues that are of concern at this time.  Dr. Carwein said that the two main concerns she has is having enough funding for quality research and being able to provide the freshman class with the services that they need.

5.         External Affairs and Athletics Committee.   Regent Rafael Stone reported that

the committee received a report from Tim Pavish on the Brand refresh. He said they also received a very interesting report from John Gardner on economic development and how their progress is being measured.  He said that Brenda Wilson-Hale provided an update on the Campaign and that Larry Ganders and Joan King provided reports on the operating and capital budgets.

6.         Reports from University Groups. 

Faculty Senate Chair Ken Struckmeyer started off by introducing Chair-Elect Bill Cofer. He reported that the Faculty Senate approved the Murrow College of Communication, gave provisional approval to the School of Global Animal Health, approved the new curriculum for the College of Pharmacy, and extended the Women’s Studies degree to the Distance Degree Program.  He also reported that they will be approving the Academic Schedule up to year 2020.  He indicated that the Faculty Affairs Committee is having spirited discussions concerning a revision to the Faculty Manual regarding the dispersement of salary increases.  He said that there are also discussions taking place on what the role of faculty should be in this century and that this is something that the Board of Regents, the faculty and the university leadership will continue to look at.  Lastly, he reported that the Faculty Senate will be holding hearings on the Academic Affairs Program Prioritization Process-Phase II.   He said that this process does cause anxiety among the faculty because their programs will be ranked in four areas:  enhanced, maintained, merged, or eliminated. 

            Administrative Professional Advisory Council (APAC) Chair Francis Benjamin reported on the APAC election.  He was pleased to announce that he has been re-elected as Chair and that Sandy Kruse from WSU Spokane will serve as Vice Chair of the APAC for the 2008-2009 term.  He also reported that the university closures in January and February highlighted the importance of the emergency communications system.  He added that with WSU taking the lead in an emergency communication system, it has caused other discussions to take place regarding the safety issues in which the city transit system is looking at the possibility of a similar type of system. Lastly, he reported the APAC was disappointed that the legislature chose not to fund the additional salary increases for the salary inequities caused by compression or inversion.  However, they are pleased that President Floyd and his administrative team announced that they will find funding to support some of those inequities. He also said the APAC appreciates the value that President Floyd places on WSU staff.

            Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) President Manpreet Chahal reported on recent GPSA events.  He also reported that they are collaborating with the Graduate School to promote Professional Development for GPSA members.  He said that 3 awards will be given of $3000 each and that they have already received 9 proposals.   He said that they held their annual Wiley Research Exposition and that 60 students from all disciplines participated. He commented that the feedback he has received from graduate and professional students regarding the recent student initiative transit fee referendum that did not pass was because the students feel that they are already paying too many fees.  Lastly, he reported that GPSA formed a Union Fact Finding Committee to gather information from the union and the administration regarding the potential impact on students if a union is formed.  He said they will host an open forum to present their findings at the end of March.

Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) President Kasey Webster reported that ASWSU just completed their elections and that Brandon Scheller and Adam Fry-Pierce will serve as the next ASWSU President and Vice President.  He said that they are now in the process of accepting applications for the Student Regent position.  He said that there has been much interest and awareness of the Student Regent position thanks to the work of Billy Gordon.  He expressed disappointment that the Student Initiative Transit Fee Referendum did not pass, but said that the undergraduate students want it and will bring it back next year.  Lastly, he reported that they attended a joint city council meeting to discuss housing on College Hill.  He indicted that many houses on College Hill need updates and renovations and that students want quality and are willing to live further from campus to get it.  

Alumni Association Vice President Robert Ellsworth reported for Al Powell. He reported that WSUAA is reaching out to students and new graduates with the introduction of new membership levels designed especially for them. He added that the strategy behind the new membership levels is to provide immediate, tangible benefits for students and recent graduates to enjoy now while introducing them to the culture of membership, and educating them on the importance of giving back to WSU.  He also reported that the WSUAA remains financially strong and debt-free.  He indicated that since the last Board of Regents Meeting, the WSUAA has conducted several outreach events with President Floyd in Woodinville, Tri-Cities, and Palm Springs.  The WSUAA also co-hosted a Student Leaders Reception with President Floyd, and a Graduate Students Reception that attracted more than 200 graduate students.  He acknowledged awardees of the Alumni Achievement Awards and also highlighted the WSUAA Spring Meeting.

7.         Executive Committee. Regent Francois Forgette reported that the committee discussed two future actions that the Board is expected to take action on at the May meeting.  The two items discussed were the election of officers and the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award.

8.         Finance and Audit Committee.  Regent Michael Worthy reported that the committee reviewed a variety of issues and information items.  He said that the committee recommended advancing for Board approval the Olympia Avenue Student Housing Project.  He commended President Floyd and the finance team on putting the proposal together so quickly.  He said that the last time the university built a new dormitory was in 1971. 

The Board took action on the following:

WSU Pullman, Olympia Avenue Student Housing Project Budget.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the revised project budget of $26,000,000, for the WSU Olympia Avenue Student Housing, provided costs are within funds available.  Carried.

9.         Academic and Student Affairs Committee.  Regent Francois Forgette reported

that the committee discussed two  significant action items and asked President Floyd to speak on each of them:

Establishment of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.  President Floyd reported after an extensive year-long internal review, and along with the recommendation of four eminent deans of successful communication programs who conducted a site visit, it is time to elevate the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication to stand-alone college status.

The Board took action on the following:

It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the establishment of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication to begin operations on July 1, 2008.  Carried.

Establishment of the School for Global and Animal Health.  President Floyd said that the School for Global Animal Health will be administered by the College of Veterinary Medicine, and will also bring together researchers from across the university who are working on research in the areas of human and animal disease. He said that the school will coordinate the university’s efforts in infectious disease research and diagnostics, with a particular focus on the intersection of human and animal disease.  He said that work on the curriculum aspects will be completed this fall and that they have received endorsement of the Faculty Senate and now it is time to advance it to the Board of Regents for consideration.

The Board took action on the following:

It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the establishment of a new School of Global Animal Health, effective immediately. Carried.                                                                         

10.       Adjournment.  The Board of Regents meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held May 2, 2008, Lewis Alumni Centre, Regents Room, Pullman, Washington.