Members of the Washington State University Board of Regents approved nearly a dozen action items during their Friday meeting in Spokane.
A majority of items approved Friday morning were referred by the Finance and Administration Committee, with regents setting tuition, housing and dining, and student fee rates for the upcoming 2023–24 academic year.
Tuition for resident and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students were increased 2.5% in compliance with state law requiring rates be increased no more than the average annual percentage growth rate in the median hourly wage for the state across the past 14 years. The maximum allowable increase for the 2023–24 academic year was 3%.
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Pharmacy, and Masters in Athletic Training programs will see no tuition rate increase in the upcoming academic year.
In addition, WSU regents voted to move forward with two ongoing capital projects. The Taylor Sports Complex project’s design phase budget increased to $8.4 million, a project that is being funded entirely with private donations. Nearly 80% of the funding required has already been raised, with construction slated to begin later this fall.
Regents also set the project budget for significant renovation of Abelson, Eastlick, and Bustad halls on the WSU Pullman campus. The project will improve classroom and lab spaces for the College of Veterinary Medicine, with the project receiving $22 million in support in the 2023–25 biennial capital budget. Both the capital and operating budgets that include landmark support for WSU are awaiting Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.
Regent Lisa Schauer and Jenette Ramos were also unanimously approved as the next chair and vice-chair of the WSU Board of Regents during the meeting. The College of Nursing will also gain three new tenure-granting departments under a proposal approved by Regents Friday.
In his report to the board, President Kirk Schulz highlighted several accomplishments across the university system, including the launch of eastern Washington’s first pediatric residency program and the forthcoming Sustainable Aviation Fuels research center in Everett. He also touched on some of the biggest challenges facing institutions of higher education across the country, including threats to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access efforts.
“To me, we need to be providing and making sure that our graduates are prepared to work in a complex, multicultural world, and I don’t want to produce graduates that go into the workplace and have to figure that out,” Schulz said. “To me, we’ve got to continue to double down on our diversity and equity work at WSU.”
Schauer opened the meeting by recognizing May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, offering suggestions on how members of the WSU community could celebrate the important time of the year. Regents also heard presentations from committees and stakeholders, as well as from WSU Spokane Chancellor Daryll DeWald.