The House of Representatives is debating the 2007-09 operating budget which is the last piece of legislation that this legislature will pass before they adjourn later this evening. Speeches are breaking down along predictable partisan lines. Democrats are praising the budget’s spending on schools, social services and the environment. Republicans are decrying the huge increase in overall spending. Members look tired and ready to go home. I know I am.
As you can tell from reading the State Relations summary of the 2007 session, the University has fared very, very well. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish this session and I am confident we have laid the ground work for future successful sessions. I do want to take moment to thank just a few people who were instrumental in our efforts this year. First, my right and left hands, Karin Yukish and Teri Blair who are my two assistants. I cannot do what I do without their diligence, support and yes, boatloads of patience. Second, my partners in Olympia, Mike Woodin and Amy Bell, who toil daily by my side to advocate on behalf of the UW. Their wise counsel and political talents help me immensely every single day.
Our office would not have been as successful this year without the incredible efforts of Harlan Patterson who worked both on campus and in Olympia to provide a huge reservoir of knowledge and expertise to the process. Harlan, thank you for everything. And kudos to the entire team in the Office of Planning and Budgeting (especially Gary Quarfoth, Amy Hanson, Phil Hoffman and Marilyn Cox), the Provost’s office (especially Ana Mari Cauce, Eric Godfrey, Jim Severson, Cheryl Cameron, Kay Lewis) and all the staff within the office of the Executive Vice President (especially Doug Breckel, Chris Malins, Jeannette Henderson, and Lou Pisano) who were always there with information and help when it was needed.
My colleagues in External Affairs were similarly wonderful. Scott, Tricia, Norm, Theresa, Aaron and many, many others, I owe you big time. And also a big thanks to my other UW Olympia partners, Jackie Der, David Lovell, JW Harrington, Bryce McKibbon and Marcus Riccelli — we were a very effective team and I enjoyed working alongside all of you. Last but not least, leadership and support from the top is critical to what I do and I have had all that I could ever ask for from President Emmert, Provost Wise and some very involved and savvy Regents. Thank you.
It is an honor and a pleasure to represent this school in the state capital. All of us should celebrate the success of this session, but as is my nature, we need to soon think about how much better we can be in 2008.