State Relations

2008 Interim

November 7, 2008

Elections Recap Update

While all of the statewide elected races appear to be settled, there are a few possible surprises brewing at the state legislative level.  On election night it looked like Democrats might pick up a seat or two in both the House and Senate.  Now it looks possible that they may lose a seat in each…

November 5, 2008

Election Recap

Wow, what an interesting election that was yesterday!  We’ll get to the invididual state races of interest in a second, but from the 50,000 foot level, Democrats seem to have strengthened their hold on power in Olympia.  Governor Gregoire was re-elected by a much wider margin than she enjoyed in 2004 and legislative Democrats appear to have made some…

October 30, 2008

HECB Releases 2009-11 Budget Recommendations

The Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) released their preliminary 2009-11 operating budget recommendations today at their monthly meeting held on the UW Seattle campus. Given the deteriorating budget outlook for 2009-11 which is resulting from significant declines in projected general fund revenues, Board staff have recommended a very modest level of new investments in higher…

October 28, 2008

Tough Times in the Nation’s “Sunshine” States

While Washington State contemplates how to dig itself out of a projected three plus billion budget hole for next biennium, three of the nation’s sunshine states continue to experience even more dire budget situations which are already having severe impacts on those state’s higher education systems. In California, what Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters calls the…

October 20, 2008

Budget Deficits and the Future of Higher Education

Hard to surf the national websites these days without reading about budget misery all around the nation and the plethora of proposals out there to cut funding for higher education.  At least half of the states are projected to be in some current or future state of fiscal distress and as has been in the case…

October 10, 2008

College Degree Rates Are Stalling

Here’s a sobering story from the Boston Globe. One of the United States notable “generational contracts” has been the notion that our children would be more likely to graduate with a college degree than their parents.  That was certainly my parent’s dream for me, neither of whom had an opportunity to get a four-year degree….

October 7, 2008

Governor Announces Additional Budget Reductions

Sorry to have been away from the blog for so long, but a family trip and my new duties as Interim VP for External Affairs have pushed the blog to the background for awhile.  However, budget news continues to dominate the last few entries and today is no exception. At noon today, Governor Gregoire announced…

September 18, 2008

Quarterly Revenue Forecast Drops Another $529 Million

The September revenue forecast for the Washington state general fund dropped a combined $529 million when the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council met this morning in Olympia.  Dr. Steve Lerch, the state’s interim chief economist stated consumers have been hit hard by bad news and remain extra cautious, influencing spending and state tax collections. Governor…

September 17, 2008

Cchchchchch Changes…….

Assume that many of you have seen this morning’s news release by the UW concerning Scott Woodward and his appointment today as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.  Scott has been my boss for the past four years and I have a lot of mixed feelings about the news.  I’m happy for him that he is going into…

September 16, 2008

HECB Hires Consultant to Work on North Sound Campus Sites

As you will recall, at the end of the 2008 session, the legislature gave $100,000 to the Higher Education Coordinating Board to convene the interested parties in the region and develop a consensus recommendation for a permanent site for a UW North Sound branch campus. The Everett Herald reported this past Sunday that the HECB has…

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