Today’s edition of The Olympian has a strong editorial on the challenges faced by lawmakers this session and the need to maintain our investments in higher education during the downturn. The paper’s editorial board met yesterday with President Emmert. Here is a portion of the editorial:
The challenge of Gregoire and lawmakers is much the same as Emmert’s — how to trim non-essential programs that don’t cripple the university in future decades. Lawmakers’ challenge is magnified because while Emmert is focused on one university, state leaders must weigh needs at UW against needs of the whole higher-education system, and then weigh that portion of the budget against social and health services, public safety, K-12 education, transportation, and the entire state budget.
We don’t envy them their difficult challenge.
UW has a strong story to tell. Its 40,000 students on the main Seattle campus make the university the largest in the state. Add in branch campuses and evening and weekend enrollments and the total student population is close to 65,000. University paychecks go to about 35,000 people a year, making it one of the largest employers in the region.
You can read the entire editorial here.
While he was in Olympia, President Emmert also appeared on TVW’s Inside Olympia along with Charlie Earl, head of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The show airs tonight at 7. TVW is Channel 23 on most Comcast systems; the show is also available on demand at tvw.org.