Regents approve Spokane campus medical college, purchase of Interfaith House

WSU+President+Elson+S.+Floyd+discusses+university+projects+and+plans+with+the+Board+of+Regents%2C+Friday%2C+May+9%2C+2014.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Regents approve Spokane campus medical college, purchase of Interfaith House

WSU President Elson S. Floyd discusses university projects and plans with the Board of Regents, Friday, May 9, 2014.

WSU President Elson S. Floyd discusses university projects and plans with the Board of Regents, Friday, May 9, 2014.

WSU President Elson S. Floyd discusses university projects and plans with the Board of Regents, Friday, May 9, 2014.

WSU President Elson S. Floyd discusses university projects and plans with the Board of Regents, Friday, May 9, 2014.

MATTHEW BRUNSTETTER | Evergreen news editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The WSU Board of Regents had a lot on its plate last week as it voted for the creation of a medical college in Spokane, extended the 2014-15 tuition freeze to all WSU students, and approved the purchase of the building that houses Zoe Coffeehouse & Pub and a number of local religious groups.

New medical college in Spokane

The College of Medical Sciences will merge the faculty of the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) medical education program and the department of Speech and Hearing Sciences in Spokane.

“I know that, to someone outside the university, this won’t mean much,” said Ken Roberts, the director of Medical Sciences, in a WSU news release. “But at WSU Spokane, it is a big deal.”

WSU shares the WWAMI with the UW School of Medicine, and the department of Speech and Hearing Sciences educates more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students. The new college will also encompass projects in sleep and cancer research.

Roberts will speak about the college and its research programs on Thursday at the WSU Spokane Chancellors’ Research Breakfast.

WSU has entered into a contract with MGT of America, a commercial consulting agency, to assess the feasibility of creating a separately accredited medical school at WSU Spokane. The results of the study are expected during the summer, according to a WSU News release.

Pullman campus renovations and additions

The regents approved the first phase of a $1.25 million ‘gateway improvement project’ to address concerns about maintenance at the campus entrances on Stadium Way and Main Street.

Additionally they approved a $3 million design and construction plan for an 11,000-square-foot addition to the McCluskey Services Building, which sits on Grimes Way near the west end of campus.

Money matters

At their previous meeting on March 28, the regents approved a zero-percent increase in undergraduate tuition rates for the 2014-15 academic year. At the meeting last Wednesday, they voted to extend the freeze to all tuition categories, including graduate and master’s programs.

Approved purchase of Interfaith House

The regents’ meeting ended with a presentation by Laura Abbott, the WSU senior who created the ‘Save Zoe Underground’ Facebook page, which has accumulated more than 3,900 likes since news about the university’s purchase broke on April 18.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read on the (Facebook) comments, as well as the comments on the petition here, how many students couldn’t have gotten through their thesis without studying in Zoe’s coffeehouse,” Abbott said.

Abbott also developed a petition that urges WSU to renew the Zoe Coffeehouse & Pub lease after Dec. 31, the eviction date set by the university.

The current owner of the building, a religious entrepreneurial oversight group called the Synod of Alaska-Northwest Presbyterian Church USA, had planned to evict tenants of the building by April 30.

Following the regents’ approval, WSU will purchase the building and associated land for $1.2 million.

The building, commonly known as the K-House or the Interfaith House, was built sometime in the 1930s and originally served as a sorority house.

Renamed colleges

The regents unanimously approved the renaming of two colleges to reflect the contributions of WSU alumni Scott and Linda Carson, and Gene and Linda Voiland.

Accordingly the College of Business will become the Carson College of Business, and the College of Engineering and Architecture will become the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.