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Rawlins to undergo surgery on ankle

PULLMAN — President V. Lane Rawlins will undergo surgery next week at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle to repair a chronic ankle injury. As a result of the surgery, Rawlins is expected to be off his feet for a number of weeks.

In recent weeks, Rawlins has been wearing a support boot on his foot in response to the increasing pain in his ankle. Now, doctors have told Rawlins that the condition is continuing to deteriorate and that ankle fusion surgery is necessary. The surgery is scheduled for Oct. 26.

In a statement to the university community issued Oct. 18, Rawlins said he will be engaged in university business as his condition permits during the weeks following surgery.

The timetable for his full return to work will be determined as his recovery progresses. During Rawlins’ recovery, Provost Robert Bates will assume increased management duties.

Rawlins said he would keep the president’s office staff and university vice presidents briefed on his progress so they will be able to share that information.

Rawlins became the ninth president in the history of Washington State University in June 2000, coming to WSU from the presidency of the University of Memphis. He has a long association with WSU, beginning in 1968 when he joined the faculty of the Department of Economics. He chaired the department from 1977-81 and served as WSU vice provost from 1982-86.

Those who would like to send well-wishes to Rawlins during his recovery can send them to

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