PULLMAN, Wash.– David L. Smith, director of facilities development at Washington State University since 1992, will become assistant director for branch campus development at the WSU Vancouver campus, effective Oct. 1.
Harold Dengerink, Vancouver dean and campus executive officer, said the demands of the growing Salmon Creek campus require more local involvement in the planning and direct oversight of the expansion.
With this year’s retirement of Earl Muir in facilities development, the opportunity arose to appoint someone based in Vancouver to assume those planning and implementation responsibilities, according to Sallie Giffen, vice president for business affairs.
In addition to directing the development of major and minor capital facilities programs, Smith will work directly with local Vancouver and Clark County governmental officials on issues related to the expansion.
Smith said he looks forward to the move to the Vancouver area and the opportunity to play a role in the establishment of the region’s premier higher education institution. “I also look forward to maintaining the many fine relationships developed with Business Affairs and other WSU units in Pullman.”
Bruce Thompson, facilities development internal projects manager, will succeed Smith, serving as acting director, Giffen announced today. “Bruce’s first-hand experience with both the university’s major and minor capital program will be very important in maintaining the department’s momentum during this transition period,” she said.
A committee to conduct a national search for a permanent facilities development director would be named soon after the start of the fall academic term, Giffen added.
The WSU Vancouver campus at Salmon Creek opened in 1996 with four buildings. Construction on an early childhood education building will start soon, along with planning for two additional academic buildings and expansion of the campus infrastructure. The campus currently serves 1,400 students and will have a capacity for more than 3,000 students when those facilities are completed within six years.
Smith, a licensed architect, left private practice in 1985 to join WSU’s physical plant and moved to facilities planning in 1986. He was responsible for directing the 1992 reorganization that combined the facilities planning and physical plant engineering units.

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