PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Board of Regents will begin its meetings for the academic year on Friday, Sept. 6, on the Pullman campus. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Samuel H. Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 518.

Board members will hear and then be asked to approve the university’s biennial operating budget request for 2003-05 during the early September meeting.

Also before the board is a proposal to rename Science Hall to the Philip and Neva Abelson Hall. The action will honor two of the university’s most prestigious, internationally recognized science alumni. Philip Abelson, a nuclear research pioneer and an avid promoter of scientific research, received the university’s first Regents’ Distinguished Alumni Award in 1962. The late Neva Abelson, who helped develop a single test for the Rh blood factor that is used worldwide, received the award in 1989. Both have generously provided WSU graduate student support throughout the years.

Board members also will be asked to approve several proposed degrees that would become effective this fall.

Requests include addition of a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Resource Economics and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering for the Pullman campus.

Regents, too, will be asked to approve Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Master of Science in Environmental Sciences and Master of Arts in History degrees for WSU Vancouver.

Also added would be a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities offered statewide through the Distance Degree Programs.

The board will be asked to allow the university to begin the process to select a design consulting team for a proposed energy plant. WSU would replace its existing steam plant with a new steam plant to be located off Grimes Way and Olympia Avenue. The facility, with two new packaged-unit boilers at the existing plant, would supply steam heat to the Pullman campus.

University officials had earlier proposed a co-generation plant–producing steam and electricity–in partnership with a private company. However, escalating costs to build the plant and a soft energy market lead to a decision by both to discontinued plans for the proposed plant.

In other business matters, the board will be asked to approve a water distribution system upgrade at WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center and water chiller project at Johnson Hall.