State Relations

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…

Boeing Company to Rank Engineering Colleges

Monday’s Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) had an eye-catching story about our local airplane manufacturer and their plans to rank colleges around the nation based on the job performance of the more than 35,000 engineers who work for the company worldwide. Richard Stephens, Boeing’s Senior VP for Human Resources and Administration and a member…

September 11, 2008

Staff Changes at Senate Ways and Means

Some big changes this week at the Senate Ways and Means committee (as you know, my old stomping grounds). David Schumacher, who has served as senior staff coordinator for the past four and a half years will be leaving at the end of the month to become Director of NW State and Local Government Affairs…

September 10, 2008

House Hearing to Focus on UW Research

Last week, the state Senate held committee hearings in Vancouver, WA as part of their September “assembly days.”  Tomorrow and Friday, the House of Representatives takes their turn in Olympia. Rep. Helen Sommers will chair what might be one of her final hearing as chair of the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.  Sommers, who has served…

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