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Board of Regents committee and bylaw changes

Diversity, equity, inclusion and access considerations are now part of the charter for each committee of the Washington State University Board of Regents.

The addition of that requirement is part of a revamp of the board’s Committee Charter Policy, which also included consolidating the number of existing committees from six to four. The change was approved during the June 7 meeting.

The smaller number of committees is to avoid overlapping and conflicting meeting times, allowing regents to attend all of them. The four consolidated committees are Executive and Governance, Academic and Student Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Strategic and Operational Excellence.

While each committee has responsibilities related to inclusion, diversity, equity and access, Strategic and Operational Excellence goes a step further. Its members coordinate with the other board committees on diversity-related topics, coordinate and review the University’s inclusion, diversity, equity, and access efforts systemwide, and receive presentations and information from WSU diversity and equity experts as well as the executive director for Tribal Relations at least once per year.

Clearer language around the responsibilities of the Executive and Governance Committee to evaluate the president and their compensation was also added as part of the changes to the Committee Charters Policy. Corporate engagement and WSU Extension-related responsibilities have also been added to the mission of the Strategic and Operational Excellence Committee.

Regents also voted to approve changes to the Board of Regents bylaws in response to changes in state law. Chief among these changes as replacing the existing faculty representative to the Board of Regents with a faculty regent. This faculty regent- who must be a full-time or emeritus faculty member – is chosen by Washington’s governor from a pool of two to five candidates nominated by the WSU Faculty Senate. The term of the faculty regent begins Oct. 1.

Information on other changes made to Board of Regents bylaws, as well as more information on the WSU Board of Regents, is available online.

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