WSUV continues to soar

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photoThe new Engineering & Computer Science Building at Washington State University Vancouver is pictured here under construction in June 2011. The building, which opens in spring 2012, will house the electrical engineering program and contains the only non-industrial clean room in the region.

(/The Columbian)

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Top majors

• Social science

• Biology

• Human development

By the numbers

• Enrollment: 3,143 students; 2,475 are full time.

• There are more than 9,500 alumni of WSUV.

• More than 130 faculty members are on staff.

On the Web

www.vancouver.wsu.edu

Contact: Office of Admissions: 360-546-9779.

Portrait

For more information on life in Clark County, visit www.columbian.com/portrait.

Washington State University Vancouver continues a remarkable ascendency on its attractive Salmon Creek hillside campus.

A boon for the university in 2011 was a $1.3 million gift from a Camas woman to assist middle-class students attend college. The gift became the largest endowed scholarship fund in WSUV history, and the second-largest gift overall.

Another highlight at WSUV was the unveiling in late 2011 of Engineering and Computer Science building. The $43.5 million, four-story, 56,000-square-foot building will open for classes in spring 2012.

The year before, the school launched its long-awaited electrical engineering degree program. The EE degree comes at the urging of high-tech employers in Southwest Washington, such as Sharp Microelectronics, WaferTech, SEH America, nLight and Silicon Forest Electronics. It features individualized study in digital systems, electrical devices and materials, or in networks and communications systems.

Perhaps the most bittersweet moment in 2011 came when longtime WSUV chancellor, Hal Dengerink, retired in June and died three months later. Though an interim chancellor stepped in, the search for Dengerink’s replacement continues for a school that’s bursting with increasing enrollment.

Enrollment at WSUV has surged past 3,000 students. They pursue any of 18 bachelor’s degrees, 10 master’s degrees and a single doctorate degree (education), or one of many professional certifications.

History and sociology bachelor’s degrees were the most recent additions; a doctor of nursing practice remains in the works.

Bachelor degree programs run a spectrum, from anthropology, English or psychology to business administration, computer science, mechanical engineering and nursing.

Master’s and doctorate degree programs in teaching and education serve many local school teachers and administrators.

The school’s innovative bachelor’s program in digital technology and culture is breaking new ground. Students tap into rapidly changing media forms to create compelling digital storytelling.

WSUV has operated in Salmon Creek since 1996, after setting up shop at Vancouver’s Clark College in 1989.

It’s one of three branch campuses in the Pullman-based WSU system: Spokane and the Tri-Cities are the other two.

All stand to gain considerably from a $1 billion fundraising campaign revealed in 2010 by WSU leaders.

With a 2015 target date, the capital drive would pump $180 million into student scholarships and fellowships and $120 million more into general student support. Almost $250 million would help attract and retain faculty members, and the rest would pay for research initiatives, academic and outreach efforts and facility renovation and construction.