- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Provost Daniel J. Bernardo was named interim president of Washington State University on Tuesday during a special meeting of the Pullman-based school’s board of regents.

Bernardo has been acting president since the June 20 death of WSU President Elson Floyd.

The board on Tuesday also appointed a committee to provide advice on the search for a new president.

The regents also said it was their intention to name WSU’s new medical school in honor of Floyd, and asked Bernardo to develop recommendations on the best way to do that.

Bernardo earned his doctorate in agricultural economics from WSU in 1985 and has also worked as vice president for agriculture and extension and dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.

“I am humbled to serve in this capacity,” Bernardo said. “I just wish it were under different circumstances.”

He will continue in his leadership role until a new president is selected.

Floyd died at the age of 59 of complications from colon cancer.

The regents also unanimously approved a legislatively mandated 5 percent reduction in resident undergraduate tuition for the coming school year.

Chairwoman Ryan Durkan said board members were “thrilled” with the tuition reduction, which was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee. The legislation also called for an additional 10 percent cut in undergraduate tuition for the 2016-2017 school year, she said.

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