Office of the President

June 18, 2009

Latest state revenue forecast


Dear Members of the University of Washington Community:

The news today from Olympia about the further decline in state revenues is another sign that the economic recovery will be difficult and slow. While today’s revenue forecast will not mean further cuts at this time — a scenario hard to imagine, given what we are going through — we do need to be mindful that the economic situation has yet to stabilize and we need to act accordingly. The next revenue forecast will come in September, and we hope that will show more encouraging signs that an economic recovery is taking hold.

In the meantime, we are about to start the new biennium, and the economic environment in which we do so is very fragile. We have worked hard over the past few months to do everything we could to protect core instructional activities and programs, and we remain committed to maintaining the highest possible quality instructional programs for our students. Governor Gregoire has asked state agencies to continue to conserve spending. I am urging the deans and chancellors, vice presidents, and others as we start the new biennium to keep the current economic climate clearly in view and to proceed cautiously and prudently in committing resources as we await the next revenue forecast in September.

The continued decline in state revenues underscores the importance of the University continuing to look for ways to increase efficiencies and creatively seek opportunities to cultivate new sources of revenue, a subject we will all be discussing and engaging more intensively in the weeks and months ahead.

  • John Dix

    How about cutting the sports budget back. It’s a university after all. A place for learning and knowledge. Not a playground for those who have nothing better to provide society than being able to hit, dribble, or run with a ball.

  • Tara Camille Perry

    While I truely appreciate your efforts to minimize the academic reprocussions of the budget forecast, I am concerned that one cut inparticular jeapordizes staff safety and the public’s safety and that is the end of the escort service at Harborview for staff after normal buisness hours. You see, I work at Harborview, and I do staffing for the ER/Admitting registration department that runs 24 hours. Staff are already concerned for thier safety when coming to and from work at odd hours. We have had many staff say they will no longer be able to stay to cover if some one calls out sick when the escort service goes away becuase they will have no safe way to get back to thier car at night, and this will only get worse as we approach on of the biggest Trauma seasons in years. I can understand cutting back on the area it services (since some staff use it to commute back and forth all the way to Queen Anne), but to eliminate it all together is going to definately create a staffing shortage in our department and that puts the community at risk. This is an issue I feel needs immediate attention, and I fear what will happen if nothing is done. Harborview has a reputation of taking on the worst medical cases and mental illness, and we owe it to our staff to ensure thier safety inside and outside of work. I hope you agree.

  • Ray Bertoni

    I’m not impressed with the very first required reading for my freshman daughter,”Dreams from my father” by Barack Obama. If this is the social ideology you’re going use to brainwash students then it will be my option to not pay tuition and find a different school for her. This is a very hot topic for me and not a wise choice for you.
    Ray Bertoni (paying parent)

  • Katie

    Re: John Dix
    The sports program is self-supportive; as much as I disagree with the emphasis that is put on sports and how many “perks” athletes get, as long as it is bringing in enough revenue to pay for itself, it will not be on the chopping block. However, does the athletics department pay for the athletes’ special tutors and advisors?…

    Re: Ray Bertoni
    Perhaps, if your daughter cannot see such a book as the opening to a healthy debate with her peers rather than an endorsement of our controversial President, the UW is not where she would be happiest. By all means, put your money towards an institute that will limit her world-view and ability to have opinions beyond those of her parents. I hear Pullman is nice.

    As for my thoughts on the budget crisis: there is a general need for a pay-cut for top administrators. Even if you think you are entitled to what you are earning, many “entitled” people in many fields of work are reducing their incomes to help keep their companies afloat – the UW should be no different. It hurts a lot less for the top to be trimmed a little bit than for the little people to be cut off at the knees in these hard economic times; it would at least be a show of compassion to those who are working at low-paying jobs and stressing every day about paying their tuition.

  • Benjamin Hanowell

    I second John Dix’s opinion that sports programs should take cuts.