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Posts tagged: Washington State University

WSU appoints David Cillay to new post of VP of the Global Campus

Washington State University has created a new VP position, vice president of the Global Campus. Yes, WSU likes to capitalize the idea — Global Campus.

They've chosen WSU veteran David Cillay to take on the job. The goal is to find key ways for the campus and its stakeholders to make better use of digital technology.

The Global Campus was launched in July.  Elson Floyd, WSU's president, laid out the key targets for the new effort:

  • Expand WSU’s educational market share
  • Support faculty in developing and implementing technology and pedagogical innovation
  • Ensure that WSU remains open and accessible through digital and eLearning tools and strategies

Cillay said the new goals of the Global Campus also include evaluating emerging models for non-traditional higher education program delivery, disseminating WSU research to a global audience and helping the university navigate the evolving regulations that govern eLearning.

One of Cillay's efforts at WSU included using the online world Second Life as a teaching and recruitment tool. The photo here is from a Spokesman.com story that appeared in 2008.

In the photo, Cillay posed in front of his Second Life alter-ego. Cillay uses the game to interact and educate students and people interested in WSU.

City hearing on Jensen-Byrd building demolition postponed until October

Update on the Jensen-Byrd building and plans to demolish it (see earlier story).

The City of Spokane's Hearing Examiner's office has postponed today's scheduled hearing, which was to hear an appeal by opponents of Campus Advantage, the Texas firm planning to tear down the structure and replace it with modern student housing. The opponents, Spokane Preservation Advocates, contend the issuance of the demolition permit is not valid.

The advocates filed the appeal earlier this year. This week the group and Campus Advantage agreed to postpone the hearing until Oct. 17, at 9 a.m.  Until the hearing is held, Campus Advantage cannot move forward with plans to tear down the industrial warehouse, which has been unused for several years.

Can the preservationists save the Jensen Byrd Building? What’s next?

Haven't seen enough information about the Jensen Byrd building and its prospects for survival?

Look for our indepth story in Tuesday's Spokesman Review business section, covering efforts to keep it from the wrecking ball

This past year the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation added the 103-year-old JB Building to its Most Endangered list. Here is some information. http://wa-trust.org/News34.aspx.

That follows last December's announced sale of the building to Campus Advantage, which has plans to replace it with modern student housing.

The Jensen Byrd was also nominated for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2012 Most Endangered list, but it was not selected; the national most-endangererd list was published this past week:  http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-endangered/

The national organization said it declined to add the Jensen Byrd to the list because statements by Washington State University, who is still the owner, suggest it won't face demolition until no earlier than 2013.

Some like it not: cherry growers didn’t agree to tax themselves for WSU gift

Our take-away from Washington State University's announcement of a $27 million gift from Washington's fruit tree industry is the diversity with which growers responded to a plan to tax themselves in order to raise that amount.

Apple and pear growers said, OK, we'll do it. Cherry and stone-fruit growers voted no. The question was formally presented as a yes-no vote put to the state's fruit growers, with each group having a say on whether it would tax itself.

The increases — or proposed increases — are in addition to existing annual assessments self-imposed fees that fruit growers in Washington now pay.

The $27 million is the largest single gift to WSU in its history.

Apple and pear growers approved paying a special project fee of an additional $1 per ton for the WSU fund. Cherry growers rejected a $4 per ton special surtax. Stone fruit guys said no to an extra $1 per ton charge.

Separate ballots were mailed for growers in the  apple, pear, cherry and stone fruit categories.  About 57 percent of apple growers —  450 —  approved the $1 per ton assessment dedicated to WSU research and extension.

Of the 265 ballots cast by pear growers, 148, or 56 percent, approved a $1 per ton assessment for WSU research and extension.

Cherry and stone fruit growers did not approve the special project assessment, with 56 and 57 percent opposed, respectively.

Absence of first-time buyer credit had huge impact on Washington home sales

Washington State University researchers have determined a housing trend that most of us could have predicted, that home sales in July through September this year skid to their year’s lowest point, reflecting the point right after the federal tax credit for first-time buyers expired.

This came by way of WSU’s Center for Real Estate Research, which looked at home sales in the third quarter for Washington’s 37 counties. It found:

Statewide sales declined 26.5 percent from the second quarter of the year to 70,550 units. It said that’s 20.2 percent below the rate from one year ago.

Glenn Crellin, WCRER director, noted only two counties saw increased sales rates compared to the second quarter, Jefferson and Adams. Only seven had increased sales from a year ago.

The areas showing increases were primarily in rural communities.

Among the urban counties, six of the 16 counties identified as metropolitan had declines of at least 35 percent compared to the second quarter, while only four urban counties reported declines of less than 20 percent. 

Spokane did not fare well, either. It had 4750 home sales, a 34.2 percent drop from the previous quarter and 30.6 percent below the same period of 2009. Its median resale price for a home was $181,000, done 5.6 percent from 2009.

The full third quarter data set is here

Senate commitee approves defense bill, with Spokane earmarks intact

The 2011 Defense Department appropriations bill, which we mentioned in an earlier post here, has moved through the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The vote was 18-12. The bill includes three items items inserted by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., which provides money for three Spokane tech agencies or firms.

Those items are covered in the earlier post. The next step is consideration of the bill by the full Senate. It’s not clear when that will occur.

 

Murray pushing defense dollars for Spokane area tech projects

Patty Murray, D-Wash., has added language to the 2011 defense appropriation bill that would benefit area businesses and organizations. Here are the key Eastern Washington items added to the bill, which is now being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  1. Washington State University’s Applied Science Laboratory: $1 million to be used to establish a fuel and energy lab at the ASL in Spokane. One goal is to work with Spokane’s ReliOn in developing alternative energy sources for the Navy.
  2. WSU’s Positron Capture and Storage Project: $3 million for reseach into positron storage,  a high-density, concentrated non-nuclear energy source.
  3. Spokane tech company Next IT: $1.5 million to design and develop virtual agent software to help servicemembers, vets and families obtain information about care and treatment.

 

 

WSU, aviation groups and growers pushing biofuel alternative

One of the main news announcements this morning came by way of Boeing, Alaska Airlines and Washington State University. This is the formal announcement of an initiative to promote more biofuel use by the aviation industry.

WSU has been active in promoting this topic. The news takeaway in today’s announcement is this: an alliance of airports, airlines, industry growers and researchers will push forward with a serious study to examine how Northwest crops can be affordably used to produce jet fuel.

Bill Ayer, CEO of Alaska Airlines, was quoted saying: “Through this initiative, we are joining other key stakeholders in our region to explore the development of alternatives to jet fuel that could further reduce our carbon footprint.”

Boeing is a big partner in this project as well. WSU gets lots of credit for having spearheaded efforts over the last two years to bring together a solid group of industry and aviation specialists to sign onto the deal.  One good way to get an overview is to watch a portion of this video with WSU VP of Economic Development John Gardner. Gardner has pushed the the Northwest “farm to fuel” concept for more than a year.

The video was produced by TVW.org. NOTE: Start the video at the 60 minute mark to watch and hear Gardner speaking on a sustainable fuels panel in Seattle in 2009.

Riverpoint Medical School would be economic dynamo

A four-year medical school in Spokane would support more than 9,000 new jobs by 2030, and generate $1.6 billion in new economic activity, a new study says.

Entitled “America’s Next Great Academic Health Center,” the report and its co-authors say the doctors and medical research produced at a Riverpoint medical campus would also improve health care throughout Eastern Washington, especially small communities under-served today.

“What this region needs is doctors seeing patients,” said Paul Umbach, a senior principal of Pittsburgh-based TrippUmbach.

The consulting firm’s study, sponsored by 17 public and private entities, was unveiled to community leaders this morning.

WSU to get smart grid training money

Washington State University will get $2.5 million to teach students about green engineering and smart grid technology, Sen. Maria Cantwell announced on Thursday.

WSU along with two other state groups will share more than $11 million going to smart-grid related training, Cantwell’s office said in a media release.

The $11 million is part of $100 million in grid funding announced by the Department of Energy, for 54 projects nationwide. The federal money is to be combined with $95 million provided by the institutions and partnering companies and manufacturers.

Centralia College will get $5 million for training utility workers in the Pacific Northwest.

And Incremental Systems Corp., in Issaquah, will get $3.6 million to train operators, engineers and military veterans.

WSU negotiating for on-campus hotel, convention center

A hotel and convention center could be built on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, if negotiations between a California developer and the university are successful.

WSU’s board of regents approved a plan Friday to begin negotiations with Sonnenblick-Del Rio Development for the sale of 7.5 acres of WSU property, according to a news release. The Brentwood, Calif., company wants to build a 125-room Hilton hotel and 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot convention center on the site, which is at the northeast end of campus, east of the Student Recreation Center.

 

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