WSU regents honor Floyd while naming new president

IN ADDITION TO naming Kirk Schulz the new president at Washington State, the board of regents also on Friday awarded the late Elson Floyd an honorary doctorate, the university said in a statement. The regents also named the latest construction project on campus after the former WSU president who passed away from cancer last summer.

Acting on a recommendation from interim WSU president Daniel Bernardo, the regents on Friday in a meeting in Tri-Cities voted unanimously to honor Floyd with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy degree.

“Elson earned all three of his degrees from the University of North Carolina,” Bernardo told the regents. “It’s only appropriate that he receive at least one degree from us.”

The regents also voted unanimously to name a new cultural building under construction near the main entrance to the WSU Pullman campus as the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center, in recognition of the former WSU president’s legacy of commitment to students, diversity and social justice.

The 16,000-square-foot structure will be located prominently at one of the main entryways to the WSU Pullman campus. The project includes four distinct Knowledge Houses with shared, flexible spaces and hospitality features for special events, as well as collaborative office space for WSU’s diversity leadership. Regent Lura Powell said it would house a “comprehensive, holistic cultural center.”

The regents had earlier approved the design and construction for the project within the budgeted amount of $16 million.

Meanwhile, Washington governor Jay Inslee weighed in on the naming of Kirk Schulz as WSU's 11th president.

“I am pleased that Washington State University has found a dynamic leader to guide them through the next phase of research, growth and student achievement. WSU, our land grant university, is opening doors for students all around the state and advancing innovative research in everything from clean energy to sustainable and precision agriculture. I look forward to working with Kirk as we continue helping WSU and its students become world-class leaders and innovators for decades to come,” said Inslee in a statement.

 In other business on Friday, the regents:

• Approved a schematic design for a student union building on the campus of WSU Tri-Cities.

• Approved a schematic design for a student union building on the campus of WSU Tri-Cities. Approved design and construction of the Museum of Art expansion project on the WSU Pullman campus with a total budget of $15 million. Approximately $12.8 million of the project funding is derived from donations.

• Approved revisions to the Standards of Conduct for Students intended to align with best practices, expand the composition of the university academic integrity hearing board to allow students to serve on that board, and further clarify the jurisdiction of the standards of conduct for students.

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