SEATTLE – The WSU Board of Regents approved a new four-year contract Friday for President Elson S. Floyd, raising his annual salary from $600,000 to $725,000.

“Dr. Floyd is an outstanding leader in higher education, and the regents strongly believe he should be compensated as such. During his first year of leadership, the university has made great strides and we look forward to more progress in the years ahead,” said Francois X. Forgette, chair of the board.

The board completed an evaluation of the president’s job performance during its annual retreat in Walla Walla this summer. The new contract was unanimously approved at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting Friday in Seattle.

“I greatly appreciate this vote of confidence by the board. Their support is instrumental in what we, as a leadership team, have been able to accomplish so far and will accomplish going forward,” said Floyd, who took over as WSU’s 10th president in May 2007. The pay increase was made retroactive to his anniversary date, May 21, 2008.

During Floyd’s tenure, the Pullman campus has seen its two largest freshman classes in history, and enrollment has reached record levels across the university. Fundraising is also at new highs. In March, the university announced the largest private gift in its history, a $25 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the School of Global Animal Health, which Floyd pushed strongly to establish.

The contract also provides a retention incentive; it would pay Floyd an additional $500,000 if he remains WSU’s president through June 30, 2012, up from $350,000 in his previous contract. If he leaves WSU’s presidency for any reason before that date, he would not receive that payment.

In other action, the board approved the renovation of nearly 2,000 square feet of space within the Phase I Classroom Building at WSU Spokane into a data center to support increased research activities on the campus. The project is slated for construction in 2009. It will be funded by $900,000 in Washington State Innovation Partnership Zone grant funds received by Greater Spokane Inc. and $400,000 in WSU building funds.

The board also delegated authority to the president to ratify 2009-2011 collective bargaining agreements reached between WSU and its classified employees and to implement program changes resulting through the academic affairs prioritization process.

The board also approved an update to the university’s strategic plan. The updated version is available at http://www.regents.wsu.edu/meeting-materials/200804A-1Plan.pdf .

The board’s next scheduled meeting will be Oct. 17 in Pullman.