View the special insert included in Washington State editions of Columns. Read more about why higher education needs to be a real priority.
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One point for correction in your materials, but otherwise, this is an excellent article.
The UW request a couple days ago called for support for UW as the highest priority. I support a call for UW as one of the utmost top priorities. However, there should be room for a couple of other utmost top priorities. People may differ over say the top 3 priorities, but plenty of needs exist in the area of poverty and its effects on race.
If you revise your request for support, please send it to me again. I am anxious to join in a petition for funding for the UW as one of the utmost top priorities.
But, the UW needs to be very careful to not be seen as claiming elite needs over the poverty sectors that have been amplified by the destruction of this nation’s economy in the name of funding wars for the purpose of enriching corporations.
The current vision is not viable. Here’s why: UW is at maximum enrollment. Local highly qualified students are being told that there is no room for them at any price. That is fundamentally and economically wrong. UW must have a financial model that “works” under normal enrollment levels. If UW is failing financially even when it is at maximum enrollment, the financial model has to change. While higher tuitions are never welcome, the University has a larger responsibility to remain solvent and financially sound. The answers to these problems are taught on Day 1 of the Introduction to Economics course. When demand outstrips supply, prices must rise.
If the UW really believed that the key to boosting our economy is through educating American children at all levels of economics in our society, they would free student slots filled by foreign students to educate American students (Specifically Washington State.)
I have a hard time justifying paying more of my tax dollars to the UW when they fill units that could be filled by a American with a foreign national student. My son is 8 years old. It is irritating to think that my son could be turned down from filling a unit at the UW in favor of a student from China just because of “cultural diversity.” I don’t want my tax dollars paying to educate children in other nations. I want my tax dollars to educate Americans (Chinese Americans, Indian Americans, African Americans, Caucasion Americans etc.)
If the state gave the UW more state funds through boosting financial aid. Would the UW be willing to decrease the seats currently being offered to foreign students, to boost American student education?
From the publication it looks like 80% of students are currently from in-state, versus only about 20% from out of state. So the percentage of “foreign nationals” is even lower than 20%. Considering that state tax money is not even close to funding 80% of the cost for educating undergraduates (seems more like 60%), it looks like the foreigners would actually be subsidizing your son.
If I were you, I would concentrate on providing your son with the best math and science education possible, instead of blaming foreigners for the “challenges” (<– euphemism alert) of K-12 education in your state. If he's smart, which no doubt he is, his chances of getting into UW are actually very high. (Most of the foreigners are here to study science and engineering, because it's probably tough to fill theses slots with folks from WA.)
my wife and i are products of washington state education, and a good case for washington state taxpayers roi (return on investment). we both went from kindergarten thru high school in washington public schools, both received a BA from WSU and received graduate degrees from UW (MS and PhD). Since returning to Washington state in 1973, 38 years ago, we have been home owners, and supported public education through our tax dollars and thru fund drives. My wife has taught in Washington schools for over 27 years and is still a teacher, actively working on furthering our youths efforts to move ahead. I have worked in industry (over 25 years) and universities, and am active in several organizations encouraging the academic efforts of our youth.
The step to furthering their education and opening up opportunities should not be restricted by their ability to pay more, but instead on their ability to achieve. We believe that the opportunity should be based on their academic abilities and achievements.
While the body of the insert presents some somewhat interesting facts, it doesn’t serve to inform us, in fact it’s confusing. You’ve stated that “Costs at the UW aren’t going up – the cost for educating a student at the UW has remained the same for the past 20 years”. Whose costs have stayed the same? Is it the cost of the UW to operate? Doubtful. Is it the cost of tuition? Clearly not. Is it the total (not per student) cost to the state for its share of the cost to operate. I don’t think so.
While not wanting to sound disrespectful, what exactly would you suggest we do? How do we individually act to “Make Higher Education a Real Priority”? What do you want us to do in order to “Invest in Students, Not Bureaucracy”?
Again, no disrespect, but you really should have run this by some of the professors in the EMBA program in order to have made a more persuasive argument for change.
For several years I have been very disheartened by the severely reduced funding for the UW from the state legislature. I do not pretend to know how to fix the situation beyond supporting tax increases for higher education in our state, but that I have pledged to give $1,000 per year to the UW for the rest of my life as a token of gratitude for the education I received there (B.S. in Zoology and D.D.S. ’71). I enjoyed practicing dentistry in Renton for nearly 40 years and am now retired. I have often reflected how diminished my life might have been, had it not been for the UW.
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