PULLMAN, Wash.–Washington State University’s Board of Regents today approved a resolution urging the state Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign enabling legislation to establish a Higher Education Endowment this year.
The resolution stated the endowment would greatly assist public higher education institutions in recruiting and retaining the best faculty and students; increase student scholarships, graduate fellowships and distinguished professorships; provide new ways to recognize quality teaching and public service; and secure the most advanced equipment, library resources and technological innovations.
Legislative creation of the endowment would create a vehicle to provide matching funds for existing contributions and encourage further private donations to higher education to support quality enhancements such as distinguished professorships and graduate fellowships.
Regents voted to approve a $2 million loan from university resources to begin design of a $40 million student recreation center. The project, expected to be completed in three years, will be paid for by a $200 annual student fee assessment approved by the students.
In other action items, the board approved the 1998 summer session tuition schedule. Resident undergraduates will pay $165 a credit hour and graduate students $212, approximately a 5 percent increase. Non-resident students will pay $175 a credit hour for undergraduate courses and $222 for graduate credits, an increase of 4.7-4.8 percent. Service and activity fees for next summer were approved at $13.85 a credit hour. WSU’s summer session is self-sustaining, operating without state appropriations.
Regents authorized the university to proceed with plans and to award a construction contract, if a satisfactory budget can be developed, for $8.29 million in infrastructure improvements of roads and utility systems.
Members also approved changes to WSU’s retirement plan rules and regulations, expanding the choice of private fund investment and allowing employees full benefit of tax deferred investment in accordance with existing tax law.
Robert Albrecht, board president, commented on the state Higher Education Coordinating Board’s current look into delivery of degree programs in Spokane.
Albrecht said regents were first approached on the subject in May when several members of the Board of Trustees of Eastern Washington University talked with several WSU regents about its willingness to be helpful in dealing with issues that EWU was facing.
In July, two WSU regents and two EWU trustees met with the governor about delivery of higher education programs in Spokane.
“WSU’s position is that we stand ready to do what is best for the state in the matter of higher education and recognize the need to bring a research university campus to Spokane,” Albrecht said.

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