PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s Board of Regents will be asked to approve the 2003-05 biennial operation and capital budget request priorities at its meeting Friday (June 14) on the WSU Vancouver campus. The 9 a.m. meeting is set for the Student Services Building, Room 236.

If approved by board members, the university — with a similar message from other public higher education institutions — will ask lawmakers for competitive faculty and staff salary levels. WSU faculty currently earn on average about 15 percent less than faculty at similar institutions in other states.

WSU also will ask for sustained access for students. Student demand exceeds the university’s ability to provide instruction at each of the four campuses and in the distance degree program. Therefore, WSU will request full funding of existing enrollment.

The university, too, will request restoration of earlier reductions and improvement of program quality. Replacing at least the most recent 5 percent budget cut will allow WSU to build quality.

Two major initiatives are atop the university’s priority request list.

The state of Oregon is withdrawing its funding and students from the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. While the action provides WSU the ability to enroll more Washington state residents, it requires replacement funding to enable the school to offer the full program.

The university also will ask for additional resources to build its biotechnology research effort.

For the Pullman campus, regents also will review the $118.6 million capital budget request draft for the next biennium. Among the major projects will be the Johnson Hall addition, Cleveland Hall addition, a biotechnology/life sciences facility, campus infrastructure work and a wastewater reclamation project. Also included in the request are capital improvement projects. Renovation of Holland Library, a facilities services center in the library and a public safety building also are proposed.

Major construction requests for the newer campuses includes WSU Spokane’s Riverpoint academic center building. Design phases would be started for a science building at WSU Tri-Cities and a College of Nursing facility at the Riverpoint campus.
The board will also be asked to approve the schematic design and grant authorization to proceed with construction plans for the Johnson Hall addition and the WSU Spokane academic center.

Also on the agenda is consideration of a proposed doctoral degree in communication and a bachelor’s and master’s of science degree in biotechnology. If approved, both would be effective in the fall.

The board also will be asked to consider name changes for three university units. One proposal will be to change the Department of Agricultural Economics to the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Another would change the Department of Pharmacy Practice to the Department of Pharmacotherapy. Also proposed is a change for the Hotel and Restaurant Administration program to become the School of Hospitality Business Management. The changes would be effective in the fall.