November 4, 2011
- Dear Campus Community,
With budget cuts come rumors, and one in particular has caught our attention. The question has apparently been raised about closing one or more of the State’s regional, formally known as “branch”, campuses; i.e., UW Bothell and WSU Tri-Cities.
The upcoming special Legislative session, which will begin the end of this month, will focus on an additional $2 billion cut to State agencies. The Governor’s proposal includes an additional reduction to higher education in the range of 15 to 18 percent.
Let me reassure you that this is brainstorming comment and not unusual at this stage of budget development and in this kind of severe budget situation . President Floyd has been adamant that he will not entertain the possibility of closing WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver, or WSU Spokane.
Please remember that there are many reasons WSU Tri-Cities exists:
- We are the only public four-year university serving south central Washington, with an important role in economic development.
- We are the most diverse campus in the WSU system, serving a student population that would not otherwise have access to higher education.
- We have strong partnerships with our community — from TRIDEC to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory — and we have strong advocates in leadership positions throughout the state.
- Only $5.7 million* of our $15.2 million operating budget comes from the state. Closing our campus might sound penny-wise to a few, but it definitely would be pound-foolish for the entire state.
You can learn more about the budget situation from the following:
• President Floyd’s response to the governor’s proposed budget (Oct. 27)
• KING 5 News: “Branch campus cuts won’t fix budget crisis, universities say.” (Nov. 1)
• WSU Budget Office for financial details
• WSU Government Relations, for Legislative updates
Potential budget cuts are unsettling and distracting. I want to personally thank each of you for your dedication to your jobs and to our campus in these uncertain economic times. I know you will continue to work hard to serve the needs of our community, and most importantly, the needs of our students here at WSU Tri-Cities.
* This number was updated November 4 at 5 p.m.
Vicky L. Carwein
Chancellor, WSU Tri-Cities