October 8, 2010 in Region

Elson Floyd extends contract to 2016

Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Elson Floyd
(Full-size photo)

Washington State University President Elson Floyd has received a four-year contract extension that would keep him at the Pullman school through June 30, 2016.

The Board of Regents approved the extension today at a meeting in Spokane. Floyd’s original contract was to expire in 2012.

The new deal provides no annual pay increases to Floyd’s existing salary of $725,000 per year, but does allow for extra money if he stays the entire time. Floyd said he will continue to give back $100,000 a year, a practice he started in 2008 because of big cuts in state funding for the university.

“Dr. Floyd has done an outstanding job for this university, and we are pleased that his tenure will continue,” board chair Laura M. Jennings said.

University of Washington President Mark Emmert just left the Seattle school after six years to become head of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the school is looking for a replacement. Emmert drew a salary of $906,500 at the larger UW.

Floyd became president of WSU in May 2007, and the school has since grown in enrollment, research income, academic reputation and fundraising.

Total university enrollment has increased each year of Floyd’s presidency, from 24,396 in fall 2007 to 25,996 this fall. Faculty and researchers have posted a 40 percent increase in the amount of outside research and other grant funding the past two fiscal years. The WSU Foundation has just recorded the three biggest years in its history.

The agreement includes a $500,000 retention incentive payment that was in Floyd’s previous contract. Floyd would receive that payment if he fulfills the initial term of his presidency, to June 30, 2012. He would qualify for another retention payment of $400,000, plus interest, if he is still WSU president in 2016.

The regents also approved two projects to improve student housing on the Pullman campus.

Construction will begin in May on a $21.6 million renovation and addition to Duncan Dunn-Community Hall. Construction on the $32.6 million Waller Hall renovation and addition will begin in May 2012.

The board also approved a rule change that would allow administrators to designate areas on campus where dogs are prohibited, even on a leash. That was in response to an incident where dogs threatened deer that were in a fenced area as part of a research project.

The board was updated on a hotel-conference center proposal for a site near the Student Recreation Center. Roger Patterson, vice president for business and finance, said the university has signed a letter of intent with Cougar ES under which the firm would buy a 7.5-acre parcel to build and operate a 120- to 150-room Embassy Suites hotel and conference center. The company is doing a feasibility analysis. A previous deal with another company for the project fell through.

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