Elson S. Floyd, President of Washington State U., Dies

Elson S. Floyd, president of Washington State University, died of complications from colon cancer on Saturday, The Seattle Times reports. He was 59.

Mr. Floyd, who had led Washington State for eight years, took a leave of absence for medical treatment two weeks ago. Daniel J. Bernardo, provost and executive vice president, who filled in for Mr. Floyd then, will continue as acting president.

An obituary on the university’s website credits President Floyd with transforming Washington State into a top-tier research university while navigating some of the worst fiscal challenges in the institution’s history. Among other achievements under his leadership, enrollment grew to record highs, and the number of students of color nearly doubled; annual research expenditures grew by more than 50 percent, to more than $335.9 million; and the university completed a $1-billion fund-raising campaign.

Michael C. Worthy, chair of the Board of Regents, called Mr. Floyd the most impactful president the university has ever had.

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