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Murdock Trust Gift Funds Laboratory

PULLMAN, Wash. — The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded Washington State University a $430,000 grant to construct an Environmental Plant Research Laboratory. The sophisticated lab will permit plant researchers to conduct basic studies ranging from how plants are responding to global climate changes to how specific genes and proteins may alter the nutrient value of food crops. The WSU facility is expected to be one of the premier plant biology research facilities in the nation, according to Howard Grimes, lead researcher in the lab. “Being able to study the effects of ultraviolet irradiation on plant growth, using light intensities of near full sunlight, will … » More …

Nakata Named Interim Director of Multicultural Student Services

PULLMAN, Wash.–Steve Nakata has been named interim director of the Washington State University Office of Multicultural Services. Nakata is currently the office’s associate director of Multicultural Student Recruitment and Community Relations. On Aug. 1, he will succeed director Lee Jones, who is leaving WSU to become a Florida State University College of Education associate dean. A 1986 WSU communication graduate, Nakata earned a communication master’s degree in 1992. He came to the university in 1988 as a student recruiter and was named assistant to the director of Minority Affairs in 1991. In 1992, he was appointed assistant director and in 1995, associate director, both for … » More …

WSU President on Western Governors Agenda

PULLMAN, Wash.–A meeting of the National Advisory Board of Western Governors University is scheduled this weekend in Denver, Colo., with Washington State University President Samuel Smith as a key participant. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Denver Summit of the G-8 Conference attended by leaders of the major industrial nations. The G-8 group, including officials of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom, gathers annually to discuss current economic issues. Western Governors University trustees meet Saturday, June 21, to review the progress of the WGU concept. The program will be followed by a one-hour international press … » More …

Trying to Stay Ahead of Mother Nature with Antibiotics

PULLMAN, Wash.–The “bugs and drugs” tennis match has no clear winner yet. Almost every time Mother Nature serves up a new bacteria, her serve is returned by a new antibiotic. Antibiotics have done well. But Mother Nature’s not-so-secret weapon – evolution – is providing her with more and more aces. “I have a lot of concern about resistant bacteria and workable antibiotics,” says Mark Garrison, College of Pharmacy professor at Washington State University at Spokane. Garrison studies bacterial resistance to antibiotics. A story about his research appears in the June issue of WSU Hilltopics, the university’s alumni publication/public relations publication. A typical bacterial infection involves … » More …

WSU President Smith To Chair NCAA Executive Committee

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University President Samuel H. Smith, already recognized as one of the most influential people in college athletics, has been elected the chair of the first National Collegiate Athletic Association Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of 20 members, including 12 Division I presidents, two presidents from the Division II and III ranks and several ex officio nonvoting members. The newly formed Executive Committee convenes August 1. Smith, WSU’s president since 1985, is currently the chair of the NCAA Presidents Commission and co-chair of the Joint Policy Board. He also serves on the Division I Board of Directors for the NCAA. … » More …

Lorig Housing Project on Hold

PULLMAN, Wash.–Housing market conditions in the Pullman area have placed a proposed public-private apartment development on Washington State University’s Hilltop Stables site on hold. Developer Lorig Associates of Seattle and the university have agreed to suspend planning on the project, according to Sallie Giffen, WSU vice president for business affairs. Original plans had called for Lorig Associates, selected in an extensive competitive process, to construct approximately 200 apartment units on 10 acres of land leased to the developer from the university. The parties had hoped that some of the units might be available by 1998, but later announced a 1999 target date. According to Giffen, … » More …

State Personnel Board Approved WSU Police Pay Plan

PULLMAN, Wash.–The state Personnel Resources Board has approved a proposal submitted by Washington State University to increase the salary schedule of its uniformed police officers. The board’s action increases starting salaries for new police officers from $2,179 to $2,634 a month and will boost the pay of others throughout the ranks to a top salary of $4,882 a month for a department captain. The wage schedule is now equal to that of the University of Washington police officers. William Mercier, WSU director of public safety, said the plan also compares favorably with salaries of the Pullman and Moscow police departments. “The university strongly supported this … » More …

IT Director Candidate Interviews at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash.–Mary Doyle, assistant provost of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the first candidate scheduled for interviews at Washington State University for the position of director of Information Technology. Open public sessions with Doyle are set for Friday, June 13, at 10:10 a.m. in Lighty Room 405 for all interested WSU employees and at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium for Information Technology employees. Doyle has been at UC Santa Barbara since l987. She was a programmer and senior administrative analyst before being appointed assistant provost in 1992. She has more than 15 years of … » More …

WSU Student Links Cause for Parkinsonian-Like Horse Disease

PULLMAN, Wash.–A Washington State University veterinary student’s research with yellow star thistle suggests the exotic weed that is advancing into Washington is the cause of a fatal disease in horses with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease in humans. Commonly known as “chewing disease,” equine nigropallidal encephalomalacia causes symptoms that include fatigue, a lowered head and a characteristic rapid uncontrolled movement of the upper lip. This lip twitching prevents horses from efficiently picking up and swallowing food. For decades, the cause of chewing disease has remained somewhat elusive. While yellow star thistle has been implicated all along, several factors have perplexed investigators. For instance, why does … » More …

Services Scheduled for Dennis J. Morrison

PULLMAN, Wash.–Dennis J. “Denny” Morrison, 78, who helped shape education in Washington for more than four decades, died Saturday of complications related to cancer in a Moscow, Idaho, nursing home. Morrison was assistant to the president at Washington State University and served more than 20 years on the Pullman School Board and 9 years on the state Board of Education. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, June 13, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pullman. Rev. Tom Caswell will officiate the service. Arrangements are under the direction of Kimball Funeral Home. President of the Washington State School Directors … » More …