UW News

November 9, 2004

UW Bothell releases growth plan

Today Chancellor Warren W. Buck announced that the University of Washington, Bothell has recently unveiled a new long-term plan to meet more of the undergraduate and graduate needs of prospective students in the North Puget Sound Region over the next several years.

The plan is under review by the University of Washington Regents, who are scheduled to take action on the proposal on November 18, 2004, and forward the approved plan to the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Washington State legislature.

“Working in collaboration with our neighboring community college partners, the UW Regents and administration, the Governor and the State Legislature, we believe implementing this plan is vital not only for students and their families but for the future economic health and welfare of the entire region,” Chancellor Buck said.

In each of the next six years, the report says, the North Puget Sound Region (primarily King and Snohomish counties) will produce between 1600 and 2200 high school graduates who qualify for admission to the UW but who cannot get in because of lack of space. To meet those needs, UW Bothell proposes maintaining its status as a UW campus, increasing enrollment in junior and senior level transfer programs in partnership with community colleges, initiating targeted freshman and sophomore programs and expanding graduate degree offerings. UW Bothell plans to grow from 1,300 students today to 6,000 students in 2020.

Business student Craig Murphy, a small business owner and graduate of Bellevue Community College said, “UW Bothell’s response to the legislature is completely consistent with its existing mission and unique character. By expanding its programs and opportunities, UW Bothell underscores its commitment to education and leadership in the region and will make a UW degree more accessible to a broader range of students.”

Last year the legislature passed a bill (Substitute House Bill 2707) requiring each of the state’s four branch campuses to “examine its instructional programs, costs, research initiatives, student enrollment characteristics, programs offered in partnership with community and technical colleges, and regional context.” The UW Bothell plan is in reply to that bill.

“UW Bothell’s plan both enhances the ability of transfer students to get baccalaureate degrees and provides a valuable four-year university option for students in our region,” said Dr. Brinton Sprague, Interim President of Cascadia Community College. “We were pleased to have participated in the planning effort and support UW Bothell’s initiatives.” UW Bothell and Cascadia Community College are co-located and share library, facilities and many other campus services.

In the report the UW Bothell proposes four priorities for its future development:

1. Growing as a University of Washington campus. Research clearly shows a need to serve a rapidly growing number of students who have done the work to qualify for UW admission. Continuing to develop as a UW campus will allow Bothell to meet these needs.

2. Expanding partnerships with community colleges. Enrollment growth is primarily planned at the upper division (junior and senior) level. This will ensure transfer opportunities for students who complete their first two years in community colleges.

3. Establishing a small lower division program. This will create a new pathway to bachelor’s degrees for students in the region and offer flexibility to returning students.

4. Gradual expansion of masters and professional degrees. Degrees will be offered in response to regional workforce needs and student priorities.

These steps, the report says, will aid the state’s goals for higher education including a significant increase in the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to the region’s residents.

“Our graduates contribute directly and substantially to both economic and community development,” said Chancellor Buck. “We will continue making valuable educational and economic contributions which are so vital to the continuation of our region’s entrepreneurial success.”

By the year 2020, the University of Washington, Bothell estimates that its annual operating and maintenance budget would need to grow by $67.5 million, including $45 million from the state, in order to support the additional students.