State Relations

2009 Interim

July 31, 2009

Blog on hiatus during August

Just a quick note to let our readers know that the blog will be taking a summer vacation during August.  It will return in September tanned, rested and ready to roll into what looks to be a fast-paced fall.

July 22, 2009

California budget deal hits higher education hard

California lawmakers and Gov. Schwarzenegger have finally reached a deal to close a remaining $26 billion budget gap and in the process higher education took brutal cuts.  California State University trustees have voted to adopt a 20 percent fee increase (on top of 10% approved earlier this year), and the University of California system has warned…

July 17, 2009

Husky player shows speed … and valor

It’s always great to wrap up a week with a purely positive story — and here is a great one.  Jerry Brewer’s column in today’s Seattle Times tells how Husky football player Skyler Fancher ran down a purse snatcher — on an injured leg to boot. File this one under “Insanely Valiant Displays of Athletic…

New survey finds pay holds steady for recent grads

A new study shows that 2009 college graduates are finding most employers keeping starting pay levels constant despite the recession.  According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal: This year’s graduating class held its ground with average starting salary offers, demonstrating that employers are reluctant to significantly tinker with starting pay despite the…

July 15, 2009

Revenue collection decline slows

As Peter Callaghan notes in the News Tribune, the economy has been so abysmal that the lack of bad news now counts as good news.  So the announcement that state revenue collections for last month were in line with forecasts rather than well below them brought a sigh of relief in Olympia, plus some hope…

July 14, 2009

Obama to unveil Community College initiative

President Obama will unveil a $12 billion initiative to bolster community colleges during a speech in Michigan later today.  The spending would be aimed challenge grants to keep students in college, construction on community college campuses, and online learning.  You can find more details as they become available on our Federal Relations website.

July 13, 2009

UNLV President demoted for pressing budget issues

An unusual story from Las Vegas, where UNLV President David Ashley was demoted by the Board of Regents for continuing to protest budget cuts to the school after the Regents had signed off on a plan to trim UNLV’s budget more than that of the University of Nevada Reno.    According to an article in the…

July 9, 2009

Capitol press corps loses another

Rich Roesler of the Spokesman Review becomes the latest member of the Capitol press corps to take a job with the state.  According to his Eye on Olympia blog: And this time, it’s me. After nearly 9 years covering Olympia for an Eastern Washington audience, I’m taking a public-affairs job with the state insurance commissioner’s…

July 8, 2009

Crossing the Rubicon?

Today’s Seattle Times featured an opinion piece by Higher Education Coordination Board Executive Director Ann Daley on the trend toward lower state funding for our public baccalaureate institutions.  According to the article: THE budget cuts to our public higher-education institutions this biennium were deep enough to cause some to suggest we have crossed the Rubicon…

July 7, 2009

Article on WWU touches familiar themes

Crosscut features a good article by Floyd McKay on Western Washington University and how it is facing a challenging budget environment.  New WWU President Bruce Shephard made headlines early in his tenure by cutting Western’s football program.  As the article notes, bigger challenges awaited: On Western’s campus, the football flap was overshadowed by budget issues as all…

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