State Relations

House Appropriations Committee Visits UW

Just finished saying so long to ten members of the House Appropriations Committee who visited the Seattle campus today to learn more about some high profile initiatives recently funded in the 2007 legislative session.  Committee chair Rep. Helen Sommers (D-Seattle) was joined by Vice Chair Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish), Rep. Lynn Kessler (D-Hoquiam), Rep. Skip Priest (R-Federal Way), Rep. Kelli Linville (D-Bellingham), Rep. Jim Dunn (R-Vancouver), Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington), Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), Rep. Eileen Cody (D-Seattle) and Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) as well as several committee and caucus staff members who made the trip up from the state capital.

Members spent the morning learning about the UW’s new Department of Global Health at a presentation at the Harborview Research and Training Building on First Hill.  Department Chair King Holmes provided an overview of the Department’s major efforts and Chris Murray discussed the newly formed Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a major item included in the University’s 2007-09 operating budget request.  Judith Wasserheit, Vice Chair of the Department introduced two students — Amanda Breed from Nursing and Ashok Reddy from Medicine — who talked about the importance of global health in their academic programs.

The group headed back to the Seattle campus for lunch in the Gates Commons where they were greeted by Dr. Ed Lazowska from UW Computer Science and Engineering who gave a short presentation on the importance of producing more baccalaureate degrees, particularly in the field of computer science.  President Emeritus Lee Huntsman provided the group with an update on planning for a new UW campus in the Snohomish, Island and Skagit county region, a major initiative funded in the biennial capital budget.

The final part of the tour was set aside for a presentation and discussion about the new WWAMI-RIDE initiative in Spokane which was also funded in the 2007-09 biennial operating budget.  Tom Norris, Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Medicine presented the WWAMI expansion plan and School of Dentistry Dean Martha Sommerman and RIDE Director Wendy Mouradian discussed the RIDE program.  Allison Porter, a WWAMI medical student talked about the importance of the program to her medical education and how it distinguishes and enhances the kind of education the UW can provide compared to other medical schools in the country.

It’s always a valuable experience for members to be able to visit and learn about the many programs here on campus in a relaxed manner away from the pressures of a legislative session.  Many thanks to Nancy Mohamed, Julie Monteith, Margi Wadden, Jackie Der and Karin Yukish for helping with planning, logistics and transportation.