Regents reduce student fees, learn of record gift to WSU Vancouver

WSU sign at entrance to Pullman campus covered in snow.
Washington State University

Members of the Washington State University Board of Regents approved reductions to mandatory fees paid by WSU Pullman and Tri-Cities students on Friday.

In August, WSU announced that it would hold off on decisions related to mandatory fees until student groups could be included in discussions. Following their recommendations, regents approved a reduction of the Services and Activities Fee for WSU Pullman and WSU Tri-Cities students during their meeting Friday that was broadcast on Youtube.

In addition, the Regents approved reductions of the WSU Pullman student health fee, the student recreation fee and the Chinook Student Center fee. WSU Tri-Cities students won’t have to pay a portion of their union building fee or safety and transportation fee due for the fall semester. More information on the fee reductions can be found online.

Regents also took action to establish a new Department of Community and Behavioral Health within the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. The move gives many faculty a more appropriate home for their work and establishes vital administrative structure.

The board unanimously approved its 2022 meeting dates and locations as well as revisions to its policy on undergraduate housing requirements.

“This rule change became an important policy to review because of COVID-19,” Regent Lura Powell, chair of the Strategic and Operational Excellence Committee, said. “The change will allow the Division of Student Affairs’ Housing and Residence Life Department to be able to address student and family needs in this shifting environment and clarifies language in order to make that available.”

Regents also heard a report from WSU Vancouver Chancellor Mel Netzhammer. He capped off his presentation by announcing a $10 million legacy gift that will create a fund to provide full cost of attendance scholarships for working parents. It’s the largest gift the campus has ever received and will work to ensure accessibility to higher education for students balancing the demands of family and work while pursuing their degrees.

“It is an extraordinary gift in that the donors have degrees from four different universities and none of them are from Washington State University,” Netzhammer said. “They wanted to make a difference in this community and began to develop a relationship with us and decided very quickly that they wanted to change lives in this community and work with WSU Vancouver to make that happen.”

WSU President Kirk Schulz discussed record-setting enrollments at WSU Health Sciences Spokane and WSU Global this fall as well as the university’s record research expenditures topping $369 million during fiscal year 2019 as part of his presentation to the board.

The WSU Board of Regents are next scheduled to meet on Jan. 21 and 22. For more information, visit the Board of Regent’s website.

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