WSU is advancing Washington industries …
WSU teams with aviation to develop sustainable aviation biofuels …
WSU partners to develop bioproducts that reduce dependence on petroleum imports …
WSU works with state commodity commissions to conduct needed agricultural research …
WSU developed the technology used for wood-plastic composites used for buildings …
WSU researchers work to improve dairy productivity and reduce disease …
WSU research has made Washington one of the world’s most productive wheat-growing regions …

"Take Five" for WSU and higher education, In the News

Expand WSU-NPSE Academic Programs – we need your support

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The Washington State Legislature will kick off the supplemental budget session on January 11, 2016. Below is a great primer on the second half of the two year budget session. The first half of the two year session was a historic year for Washington State University. Not only did the legislature pass a budget that has a significant reduction in tuition for students starting in 2016, but also approved funding for WSU to start a new community-based medical school in Spokane (which is making amazing progress). And, the legislature supported expansion of academic offerings at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett and the funds for construction of a new Everett-based, STEM-focused building for classrooms, laboratories. and student services. Below is our first in a series of posts providing you more information about the supplemental budget session and WSU’s legislative priorities.

The 2016 legislative session is convening for its regular session on January 11th. This session is the second year of the biennial budget cycle for the state of Washington.

What does this mean? A little State Budget 101 may be helpful.

The state of Washington enacted its 2015-2017 budget last year. In the two-year or “biennial” budget, the legislature funds state agencies and public institutions like Washington State University. A great recap of the state budget passed last July and its impact on higher education and WSU can be found here.

This year’s legislative session is referred to as the supplemental budget session. The legislature will consider revisions to the budget passed last year.

In addition, lawmakers will consider requests from state agencies and institutions like WSU to address needed priorities like expanding educational opportunities and supporting economic development.

WSU has such a request.

farmersmarketWSU wants to assist the development of locally driven food and agricultural systems that are already rapidly transforming the way Western Washington residents are buying (and enjoying) healthy, tasty, and locally grown fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein sources.

In addition, the growing demand for locally produced food helps preserve agriculture and open spaces for Western Washington. Take one visit to the beautiful Snohomish River valley, Ebey Landing on Whidbey Island, or the Skagit River valley and it is easy to see the opportunities inherent for local agriculture in the North Puget Sound region.

WSU is requesting funding through the supplemental budget to add a food systems program with four agriculture degrees to the existing fleet of academic offerings of WSU North Puget Sound at Everett.

Last year, the legislature funded expansion of new software engineering and data analytics degrees – and these classes will start in Everett in the fall of 2016. And, the legislature supported funding for construction of a new academic building that will house classrooms, labs, and student services. Groundbreaking took place last September in Everett, with plenty of happy dignitaries on hand.

As the Everett Herald recently opined, supporting WSU and the plans to offer agriculture degrees makes sense for consumers who are demanding locally-sourced food, and for Western Washington farmers.Organic_farm_600

WSU’s proposal to the legislature includes phasing in four agricultural academic degree programs. The first phase will include Bachelors of Science degrees in Agriculture and Food Security and in Organic Agriculture Systems. The second phase will include BS degrees in Sustainable Food Systems and Urban Horticulture.

The upper division academic programs will rely on the collaboration with community college partners, leverage existing WSU faculty in seven Western counties and draw upon the resources of WSU research and extension centers located in Mount Vernon and Puyallup. Classes will primarily be based at WSU North Puget Sound in Everett with limited instruction also available in Mount Vernon and Puyallup. It is expected that enrollment could be as high as 100 students and students will enjoy a mix of classroom instruction, field trips and required internships for graduation.

If you think expanding academic degrees and supporting Western Washington agriculture is important, please let your legislators know you support this request. It makes a HUGE difference.

WSU Impact makes it easy to take action and contact your legislators instantly, in one simple click you are connected to your three legislators. WSU Impact digital tools allow you to send a message, either the one prepared for you or as we encourage, using the editing tools to create and send your own personal message.

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