PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Board of Regents elected attorney William Marler as its board president for the next year. Marler of Bainbridge Island was named to the board in 1998. He is a partner in the law firm of Marler Clark in Seattle.

Regent Marler also served as a member of the Pullman City Council while attending Washington State University and was the youngest and the first student ever elected to this office. He earned a bachelor’s degree from WSU in 1982, and a Juris Doctor from Seattle University in 1987.

Rafael Stone of Seattle was elected board vice president. He was appointed to the Board of Regents in April 2000. He is a partner in the law firm of Foster Pepper & Shefelman and chairs the firm’s Institutional Pensions Investing and Operations Practice Group. He received his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Washington.

Regents approved a number of action items during the regularly scheduled meeting today.

The board approved a $50 Health and Wellness mandatory summer fee for students on the Pullman campus. The fee would fully fund summer health and wellness services, eliminating a $20 co-pay, and reliance on services and activities fees, and the Health and Wellness Services reserve fund.

Regents also approved a $15-per-semester increase to the academic year Health and Wellness fee for fall 2003 (increased to $87 per semester), fall 2004 (increased to $102 per semester) and fall 2005 (increased to $117 per semester), with subsequent year increases linked to inflation.

Board members, too, approved a request to amend the Washington Administrative Code to revise and update the Standards of Conduct for Students. The revisions focus on a more straightforward, user-friendly explanation of the student conduct process.

The board approved allocations of services and activities fees for summer 2003 and the 2003-04 academic year. An increase of 8 percent or the percentage increase for each category of tuition, whichever is less, was recommended for fiscal year 2004

Regents approved a name change for the Program in Statistics to the Department of Statistics, effective immediately.

The School of Hospitality Business Management’s requests to extend its degree program to WSU Spokane, effective immediately, also was approved. The curriculum at the Spokane campus would be structured as an upper-division, baccalaureate completion program.

Also, the board approved the division of the WSU Department of Apparel, Merchandising and Interior Design into two departments – the Department of Interior Design and the Department of Apparel Merchandising, Design and Textiles, effective immediately. In the past three decades, the two disciplines have grown in divergent directions in such a way that the rationale behind joining the programs is no longer valid, the provost said. The department faculty unanimously supports the division.

Regents also approved establishing a Master of Arts in Philosophy, a collaborative program between the philosophy departments at WSU and the University of Idaho. The proposed program builds on the strengths of the two departments that already have a long history of close collaboration, each with a thriving bachelor’s program in philosophy, but neither with a graduate program, Bates said.

The board, too, approved a mandatory $15 student transit fee for the Pullman campus for all students enrolled in seven credits or more and $8 per semester for students enrolled in less than seven credits. A referendum calling for the fees passed during the Associated Students of WSU general election in March and a graduate and professional student vote in April.

Regents approved WAC urban campus parking revisions on three WSU campuses – WSU Vancouver, WSU Spokane at Riverpoint and the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing in Spokane. The university operates parking systems on the three campuses, however, each system governed by its own WAC chapter.

Also, the board delegated authority to the university to approve the selection of the firm that will provide consulting services and grant permission to proceed with schematic design for the proposed Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory project at the WSU Tri-Cities in partnership with Battelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Improvements to Bailey Brayton Field are also recommended. The project includes field turf replacement, remodeling the dugouts, repairing the drainage and adding an optional restroom for the home team dugout. The $1.2 million project will be paid for with donated funds.

Regents also approved a recommendation to present the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award to acclaimed author Sherman Alexis. The award-winner has achieved outstanding careers in the areas of literature and film. Alexis’ awards range from the Governor’s Writers (1994) to the American Book Award (1996) and the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Award. The 1991 WSU graduate in American studies will be the 33rd recipient of the regents’ award. The award ceremony is planned for Oct. 24.