PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Board of Regents approved WSU’s 2003 supplemental operating and capital budget requests to state lawmakers.
The university will request $375,000 to cover maintenance and utilities costs on two new legislatively authorized buildings: the Multimedia Classroom building on the Vancouver campus and the Shock Physics building on the Pullman campus. Funding is needed to cover the costs of opening and occupying the building that will be on-line well before the end of the biennium.
WSU officials also will ask for a transfer of nearly $1.54 million savings from the Smith Center for Teaching and Learning construction project to the Energy Plant project this biennium to help the university meet its expected project price tag of more than $40 million. Construction on the plant begins in the spring with an optimistic completion date in a year.
In other action the board approved a request to change the name of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures. Provost Robert Bates said the name change reflects more accurately the nature of what the department teaches and researches.
Regents also approved schematic design documents for renovation of Wilmer-Davis Dining Center and delegated authority to advertise for bids and award a construction contract provided costs are within funds available. The $3.58 project will be paid for with Housing and Dining bonds and current operating funds. The project includes changing the facility into an emporium concept, which will combine the current convenience store and dining center. Limited dining options will be available through use of three cooking platforms. Most cooking will occur in front of customers to emphasize freshness. The proposed schedule calls for construction to begin in June 2003 and be ready for use in the fall semester 2004. The remodeling effort is the first phase to improve the dining areas. After the current project is completed, Regents Hill dining center, and later the Rotunda, are expected to be remodeled.
Changes to the WSU Retirement Plan and endowment management fees also were approved by board members.
Greg Royer, vice president for business affairs, told regents the retirement plan changes will enhance retention of senior faculty and administrative/professional employees. “WSU needs quality people to teach and serve all constituents,” he said. “The changes will allow us to recruit talented, retired faculty and staff to fill vacancies or to meet specific strategic goals of the university.”
Richard Frisch, vice president for development, said the .5 percent increase to the endowment management fee paid to the WSU Foundation will allow the fund-raising organization to grow and increase its base of support. The approved fee will be 2 percent. Constituencies will continue to receive a 4 percent annual payout of their endowed funds. When earning exceed 6 percent, those funds are reinvested with the principal. The foundation’s trustees will take action on the item at their December meeting.
Student Affairs Vice President Charlene Jaeger told regents that during the summer, remodeling will begin in the Compton Union Building to relocate three of the multicultural student centers into the central campus building. Moving to the CUB will be the African American Student Center, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Center and the Native American Student Center. The fourth center, the Chicano/Latino Student Center will remain in Wilson Hall, located across the mall from the CUB.
Marketing professor Rom Markin, chair of the university’s NCAA Self-Study Certification Review, told regents the 21-member steering committee had completed its directive and the report would be sent to NCAA officials next week. Since August 1991, the steering committee and four subcommittees totaling more than 70 people throughout the university community worked on the report.
Markin said the NCAA regularly asked universities to validate their athletic programs and demonstrate they are within NCAA principles. In 1996, WSU was found to be in conformity. In February, a review team will be on the Pullman campus talking with those at WSU involved in the 2002 self study.
The WSU Board of Regents will meet with members of the University of Washington’s board for a special meeting from 6-7 p.m. today (Nov. 22) at Lewis Alumni Centre. The boards will be asked to approve a resolution to jointly support efforts to secure adequate state appropriations for WSU and the UW.