Elson Floyd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elson S. Floyd
President of
Washington State University
In office
July 2007 – Present
Preceded by V. Lane Rawlins
Personal details
Born (1956-02-29) February 29, 1956 (age 59)
Henderson, North Carolina
Spouse(s) Carmento
Alma mater University of North Carolina
Profession University president

Elson S. Floyd (born February 29, 1956)[1] is an American educator who took office as the 10th president of the four-campus Washington State University on May 21, 2007. Floyd has also served as president of the University of Missouri System and president of Western Michigan University. Floyd is the Chairman of the Pac-12 CEO Group. [2]

Floyd's tenure at WSU has been widely acclaimed within the state of Washington [3] for leading WSU in a $1 Billion capital campaign and securing bi-partisan approval of a new WSU medical school in Spokane. [4]

Early life and education[edit]

Floyd is a native of Henderson, North Carolina, a city located about 40 minutes north of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. He is the oldest of four sons. He attended the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia.

Floyd holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and speech (1978), a master of education degree in adult education (1982), and a doctor of philosophy degree in higher and adult education (1984), all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Academic career[edit]

Buttons worn by Missouri students in '05

Floyd is on his third university presidency at Washington State University. Before coming to WSU, where he is based on the main campus in Pullman, Washington, Floyd was the 21st president of the four-campus University of Missouri for four years (2003–2007). He was selected to lead Missouri's land-grant research university on November 11, 2002. It was at Missouri Floyd picked up the nickname 'E-Flo' by students, who created buttons bearing the phrase, 'I heart E-Flo' for his approachable relationship with the student body. [5]

Prior to that, he was the sixth president of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, taking office there August 1, 1998, and serving until January 5, 2003. While at Western Michigan University, he also was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology and in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership.

Floyd spent from 1995 to 1998 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served as chief administrative and operating officer and the senior official responsible for business and finance; human resources; auxiliary enterprises; student affairs; information technology; university advancement and development; and enrollment management.

For two years, 1993–1995, he was executive director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board, the agency responsible for statewide planning, policy analysis and student financial aid programs for Washington's post-secondary education system. From 1990 to 1993, Floyd served as vice president for student services, vice president for administration, and executive vice president at Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington. In the latter role, he was the university's chief operating officer.

WSU's president started his career in 1978 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he held deanships in the Division of Student Affairs, the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1988 to 1990, he was assistant vice president for student services for the UNC system office, where he helped develop and articulate student affairs and academic affairs policy for the 16-campus university system.

Board memberships[edit]

Floyd is on the board of the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (2004–present), the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (2003–present), President George W. Bush's Advisory Board for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2002–present), The Darlington School Board of Trustees (1997–2000) and the Education Commission of the States (1993). He was a Truman Scholarship Reviewer (1999). On November 15, 2012, Floyd was named an advisor on Governor Jay Inslee's transitions team.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Floyd is married to Carmento Floyd.[7] They have two adult children.[8][9] There was a scandal in 2003 when Carmento, who is black, was recorded telling a black student jailed on domestic violence charges, Ricky Clemons, that he should not date white women and referred to white women as "pink toes."[10][11][12][13][14][15]

Voluntary pay cut[edit]

On November 21, 2008, Floyd asked the WSU Board of Regents to cut his pay by $100,000 in light of the difficult budget the university was facing.[16] Floyd's salary had been increased from $600,000 to $725,000 in August, making his salary $625,000 after the reduction.[17] It is the largest known salary-reduction of a university president. Floyd said he wanted to "lead by example." Two other university presidents gave self-imposed cuts that week as well.[18] As of June 16, 2009, Floyd announced an additional 5% cut to his salary along with other executive board members.


Among other honors, Dr. Floyd received the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his former high school, Darlington School, in Georgia. He is the recipient of the 2005 Communicator of the Year Award, given by the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the 2004 James C. Kirkpatrick Award given by the Northwest Missouri Press Association for public service.

In 2015, Floyd received one of the highest awards in education, the CASE Leadership Award,[19] for his efforts in "Advancement and Support of Education." [20]


  1. ^ "Floyd, Elson S. (1956- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". The Black Past. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://pac-12.com/article/2014/10/27/pac-12-universities-adopt-sweeping-reforms-student-athletes-guaranteeing
  3. ^ http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/how-wsu-beat-odds-in-fight-to-create-med-school/
  4. ^ http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/apr/09/editorial-wsu-leadership-has-taken-school-far-in/
  5. ^ http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/wsus-new-leader-gets-reacquainted/
  6. ^ Riley, Kate (November 15, 2012). "Gov.-elect Jay Inslee's picked a first-rate transition team | Ed cetera". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ "USATODAY.com - Text of Carmento Floyd's statement". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. December 11, 2003. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ University of Missouri System (December 13, 2006). "Elson S. Floyd Named 10th President of Washington State University | News Releases | University of Missouri System". Umsystem.edu. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.kimatv.com/news/4907846.html
  10. ^ Perry, Nick (December 13, 2006). "Local News | WSU picks new president | Seattle Times Newspaper". Seattletimes.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ December 12, 2003 (December 12, 2003). "Missouri president stays - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ Charton, Scott (December 12, 2003). "USATODAY.com - Clemons: I stick by everything that was said in the recordings". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ John Rohde • (January 18, 2004). "Win was key for MizzouTalented Tigers need to rebound". News OK. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ St. Louis Post-Dispatch (December 12, 2003). "Clemons' chats revealing / LJWorld.com". .ljworld.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ Hollingsworth, Heather (December 13, 2003). "Board stands behind MU president". LJWorld.com. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  16. ^ "WSU’s Floyd asks for $100K pay cut - Puget Sound Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. November 21, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ Lewin, Tamar (November 23, 2008). "Presidents of Colleges Give Back Some Pay". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ http://www.case8.org/awards/leadership_award.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=(organic)&utm_term=(not%20provided)&utm_content=(organic)
  20. ^ https://news.wsu.edu/2014/11/24/wsu-president-to-receive-case-leadership-award/#.VTLVXWS6ezw

External links[edit]