PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Board of Regents approved a number of new degrees, among other action items, during its meeting today on the Pullman campus.

The new degrees, all in place this fall, include the following:

* The Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering takes into account the history and future of bioengineering from the perspectives of science, technology and student interest. It is the product of three colleges: Engineering and Architecture, Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Home Economics for the Pullman campus.

* The Bachelor of Arts in Humanities is a second general studies option to serve Washington citizens who are time- or place-bound and unable to move to a WSU campus to complete the undergraduate degree. It is currently offered on the Pullman, Vancouver and Tri-Cities campuses and provides a complementary alternative to the currently available Distance Degree Program’s B.A. in Social Sciences degree.

* The Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Resource Economics and Management will prepare individuals at the baccalaureate level to apply the principles of managerial decision-making and economic assessment to an array of current and emerging issues in the state and nation. The department, Agriculture and Resource Economics, is currently ranked sixth in the nation among resource economics programs based on the quality of its research and graduate education in the area.

* The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology degree at WSU Vancouver will establish its own distinct identity through its greater emphasis upon the public or applied aspects of anthropology and on serving the local community by encouraging students to use anthropological theories, methods and concepts to help address contemporary problems and issues.

* Regents also approved extension of the Master of Science in Environmental Sciences to WSU Vancouver. The degree is expected to be in demand since the campus now receives an average of two inquiries per week requesting the program.

* The Master of Arts in History at WSU Vancouver will assist those interested in teaching history at the secondary and community college levels and will serve those interested in careers in diplomatic and government service, international business and nonprofit human rights work.

In other actions the board also approved amendments to the Associated Students of WSU Vancouver constitution concerning membership on its senate and appointment of senators.

The board told the university to begin the process to select a design consulting team for a proposed energy plant. WSU would locate the new steam plant 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 led to a decision by both to discontinue plans for the proposed plant.

In other business matters, the board approved a water distribution system upgrade at WSU Prosser IAREC and water chiller project at Johnson Hall on the Pullman campus.

Regents unanimously approved renaming Science Hall to the Philip and Neva Abelson Hall. The action honors 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 support to WSU graduate students throughout the years.

The building was officially named during a ceremony today (Sept. 6).