BOT hears report on waterfront development

Board of Trustees Recap for Oct. 9-10

[ Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion. ]

Western’s Board of Trustees on Thursday heard a presentation on progress on the redevelopment of the Bellingham waterfront as well as Western involvement in a presence there from Steve Swan, vice president for University Relations and Community Development at Western, and Rob Fix, executive director of the Port of Bellingham.

As the redevelopment of the former Georgia-Pacific industrial site at the waterfront has continued, Swan said that Western has been involved throughout in close cooperation with the Port.

“The Port has been a terrific collaborative partner,” Swan said.

What is now envisioned at the waterfront by Western is a multi-purpose community engagement and innovation center that brings the business, not-for-profit and other communities together in collaboration and partnership with Western and possibly other area higher education entities. Current plans are for Western’s Extended Education to be a core anchor and for building spaces that will facilitate conferencing, innovation and presentations of different types, Swan said.

Fix provided a briefing on overall progress on waterfront redevelopment as well as funding and environmental cleanup updates.

In other business, the trustees:

  • Welcomed new Trustee Earl Overstreet.
  • Eileen Coughlin, senior vice president and vice president for Enrollment and Student Services, reported on fall opening activities.
  • Rich Van Den Hul, vice president for Business and Financial Affairs, and Swan led a presentation of efforts to update Western’s emergency communications system.
  • Provost Brent Carbajal, Brian Burton, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, and Change Leader Danica Kilander reported on Western being selected to join the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus consortium.
  • Heard a report from Associated Students President Annika Wolters on many AS activities, including a highly successful voter registration effort.
  • Received information and training on public records by Assistant Attorney General Kerena Higgins.
  • Stephanie Bowers, vice president for University Advancement, provided an update on WWU’s comprehensive campaign.
  • Recognized the service of Sherry Burkey, associate vice president of University Relations and Community Development. Swan noted that Burkey had recently won a national award for her service to Western and higher education.
  • Welcomed new Government Relations Director Becca Kenna-Schenk.
  • Welcomed Matt Babick, new director, Office of the Internal Auditor.
  • At a breakfast on Friday recognized the 2014 convocation award winners: Reneé Collins, Professional Staff Organization Award recipient; Korry Harvey, Diversity Achievement Award recipient; Maria Timmons Flores, Carl H. Simpson Bridging Award recipient; Jeff Carroll, Philip E. Sharpe Jr., Community Engagement Award recipient; and the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Team, Team Recognition Award recipients.

Go online for more information on the trustees’ meeting.

The dates for the next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees are Dec. 11 and 12.