Board of Trustees Recap for Dec. 12 and 13

Board of Trustees Recap for Dec. 12 and 13

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


Trustees Approve Resolution Naming Kaiser Borsari Hall

Western’s Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a resolution naming the planned Advanced Technology Engineering and Computer Science building Kaiser Borsari Hall.

A $10 million gift from Fred Kaiser and Grace Borsari will support “Building Washington’s Future,” a campaign to raise $20 million for a new building to house growing Western programs in electrical engineering, computer science and energy science, said Stephanie Bowers, president and CEO of the Western Washington University Foundation.

The lead gift by Kaiser and Borsari, business partners, entrepreneurs and founders of Alpha Technologies, is the largest single private gift to benefit the university.

Western President Sabah Randhawa and Bowers praised the generosity of Kaiser and Borsari, who have contributed over $2 million to the WWU Foundation in the past, including funding more than 135 scholarships and making a $1 million gift in 2013 to the Institute for Energy Studies to establish the Alpha Technologies electrical engineering lab.

Brad Johnson, dean of Western’s College of Science and Engineering, said the gift will help meet the tremendous surge in student interest and enrollment in our STEM programs and also help the college expand its programmatic emphasis on hands-on, authentic learning experiences.

Trustee and Chair Earl Overstreet said the lead gift was historic in many ways. He thanked Kaiser and Borsari and the efforts of the Foundation and others on campus.

For more information, see:  and


Kindness Day at Western

The trustees heard a presentation on WWU Kindness Day and on the science of kindness from Barbara Sandoval, senior executive assistant to the president; Rayne Rambo, assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees, and Christie Scollon, associate professor of Psychology at Western.

Western celebrated World Kindness Day on Nov. 13 with cider and hot chocolate booths on campus and a Kindness Info Fair in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Western’s Pep Band performed during the info fair. Sticky notes with examples of kindness were collected at the booths and are now posted outside the third floor Old Main meeting room of the Board of Trustees

Western’s Kindness Day was a product of a summer working retreat for the Senior Management Administrative Resource Team (SMART), which includes assistants to the president and vice presidents; assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees, and assistant to the Assistant Attorneys General, Sandoval said.

The team considered ideas to provide a positive experience for the campus community as the weather worsens and the skies darken, Sandoval said. The committee learned that World Kindness Day, launched in 1998, is celebrated annually on the 13th of every November. With an idea and support from the President’s Office, the planning for Western’s Kindness Day activities began. The core group expanded the Kindness Day Committee to include additional committee members, collaborating with faculty in the Department of Psychology, and Scollon’s PSY377 Positive Psychology students.

The event provided a unique opportunity for students to showcase their classroom learning and to apply their creative skills and energy to bring to life some of the principles they learned from positive psychology research, Scollon told the trustees.

“Overall it was a wonderful experience for my students,” Scollon said.

“Kindness is our human nature,” Rambo noted, saying that for example children from Western’s Child Development center painted colorful rocks with messages of kindness.
Sandoval described ripple effects of the event, when colleagues from Western Procurement, Contracts and Travel shared that they were inspired to launch their own activity and held a coat drive in their department for Blue Skies for Children, a local organization that supports homeless, low-income and foster children in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Sandoval said they plan to hold the event again in 2020. For more information, see:

In other business, the trustees:

The next regular meeting of the Board of trustees will be Feb. 13 and 14. Meeting documents are available at the Board of Trustees website at

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 11:52am
artists rendering of new science building
Kindness Day: Students swarm a happy support dog
Kindness Day: Students and staff left messages or support on the kindness board
Employee Nancy Phillips is the "i" in Kindness on the Kindness Wall
Kindness Day crafts

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