UW 'Turns Corner' on Faculty Salaries;
Enrollments, Tuition to Rise

The University of Washington may find fewer professors leaving for higher paid positions elsewhere-and more top professors willing to come here-as a result of a new state budget passed April 25.

Lawmakers gave state employees a 3 percent raise for each year of the two-year budget, and they also set aside $4.6 million for the UW to use to recruit and retain faculty. In addition, the Legislature authorized the UW regents to raise tuition, portions of which could be used to augment pay levels.

In 1998, faculty salaries were 14.3 percent behind our peer institutions. The new funding may close some of that gap,depending on pay hikes at the UW's peer institutions over the next two years.


State Capitol in Olympia

"This is a good budget for higher education and the UW," says President Richard L. McCormick. "It is a solid financing package that combines state-funded salary increases with tuition flexibility and a recruitment and retention pool to 'turn the corner' on our serious salary problems."

McCormick adds, "This represents an important down-payment in attracting and keeping the best faculty and staff talent at the University and it should have a favorable impact on campus morale. This budget also recognizes the important role the University plays in technology, research and economic development by providing money to support high impact research and the next generation of Internet."

"This is a strong down payment," adds Sheral Burkey, associate vice president for university relations and director of government relations, "but I don't think anyone believes that we've fixed the problem. This is a long-term effort. We need to get to our peer average."

Increases will not be across the board since faculty pay hikes are based on merit.

While the Legislature turned down the UW request to raise tuition $50 each quarter--a 24 percent increase by 2001--it did give regents authority to raise tuition as much as 4.6 percent in 1999-2000 and 3.6 percent in 2000-01.

The regents were scheduled to consider a tuition proposal at their May 21 meeting. Currently resident, undergraduate tuition and fees are $3,495. If the regents raise tuition to the limit, the 1999-2000 rate would be $3,639 and the 2000-01 rate would be $3,756.

Non-resident tuition would rise from its current $11,517 to $12,030 in 1999-2000 and to $12,450 in 2000-01.

While tuition may be increasing, enrollment levels at all three UW campuses will also rise. Seattle will see an extra 410 undergraduate and 329 graduate slots. Bothell gets 146 new undergraduates and 95 graduates. Tacoma will see a boost of 243 undergraduates and 81 graduates.

All three campuses also saw new funding for capital projects. The Legislature will finance a $39.3 million renovation of Suzzallo Library to bring the historic structure up to code, install cables for new information technology, and restore the library's exquisite exterior of stained glass, cut stone, statues and masonry. Work should start in the spring of 2000.

Lawmakers also authorized the UW to use its own funds to cover about two-thirds of the cost of a new law school building. The law school has already raised close to one-third of the cost of the $70 million structure in private donations. The building will go up on the south end of the parking lot next to the Burke Museum. Construction is scheduled to start in June 2001.

UW Bothell will receive $50 million to begin a second phase of construction on its new campus shared with Cascadia Community College. The campus, located near the intersection of I-405 and State Route 522, will open in the fall of 2000. Phase two will fund academic facilities and parking structures.

UW Tacoma will get $36.4 million for its phase two construction, which will build two new academic facilities and restore an old warehouse at its downtown site.

Several UW technology initiatives also fared well in Olympia. A joint proposal with WSU will fund the Advanced Technology Initiative, allowing for new faculty clusters in specialized fields which will work collaboratively with the private sector. The UW also got $4 million to serve as a hub for the next generation of Internet.

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