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 …

In the News

Getting ready for the upcoming budget session – let the news begin


It’s that time of year! News articles reporting on the upcoming legislative session are starting to show up in WSU Impact’s newsfeed. Below is an article that posted on December 28th by longtime Olympia beat reporter, Jerry Cornfeld. The article describes the Governor’s proposed budget and how Washington State University’s requests have fared. Quotes in the story point out an important fact as we get ready for the upcoming legislation budget session: the Governor’s proposal is the first step in a long session that has a lot of opportunity for citizen voices to weigh in and make a difference. We look forward to sharing more news and updates as the session gets underway on January 9th.

Jerry Cornfeld, The Herald

OLYMPIA — Washington State University has hit a snag in a quest to boost enrollment in engineering courses in Everett.

WSU asked Gov. Jay Inslee to set aside money in his budget proposal to pay for added enrollment slots but the governor didn’t fulfill the request in the two-year, $46.7 billion spending plan he released earlier this month.

University leaders now will press lawmakers in hopes of securing dollars in the budgets that the state House and Senate will produce in the 2017 legislative session.

“We’ve got a long way to go and we’re going to keep working it,” said Chris Mulick, WSU’s director of state relations.

He pointed out that the governor did allot $10 million to enroll the initial class of 60 students in the new WSU medical school.

“Getting that funded is just critical,” Mulick said.

The governor doesn’t oppose WSU’s expansion plans in Everett but chose to direct new dollars into other higher education priorities such as freezing tuition and providing financial aid, said his spokesman, Chase Gallagher. In addition, spending decisions in the budget reflect the need to comply with court directives on public school funding and reforming the mental health care system, he said.

“There were a lot of extremely worthy requests that had to be passed on this year, and as our economy grows, the governor is certainly open to revisiting those in future budgets,” Gallagher said.

“In every budget cycle, decisions have to be made in order to create a budget that works for all of Washington,” he continued. “This year the governor had the additional requirement to create a plan that sustainably and fully funds education for every student in Washington. The governor also strongly believes that now is the time to reinvest in our mental health system that was so deeply cut during the recession, and his proposed budget reflects those key priorities.”

Artist's rendition of the new building for students and facullty at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett that will be opening in August 2017

Artist’s rendition of the new building for students and facullty at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett that will be opening in August 2017

WSU requested $5 million, a portion of which would pay for adding 90 enrollment slots in the mechanical, electrical and software engineering programs at WSU North Puget Sound anchored on the Everett Community College campus.

It would be the first expansion in the engineering degree offerings in Everett since WSU set root in the city in 2012.

That year, it began offering the mechanical engineering degree through the University Center, a WSU-managed collaboration of public and private colleges on the EvCC campus. The university added programs in electrical engineering in 2014 and software engineering in 2015.

Another batch of money in the budget request would enable the university to begin offering a professional certificate in supply chain management and logistics to WSU students in Everett and Vancouver. This would be the first non-degree WSU program in Everett, according to Mulick.

And a few dollars would be used by the university to locate a building to house the Center for Engineering and Science in Advanced Manufacturing & Materials. WSU officials have said they envision the center as an incubator of innovation by bringing students, faculty and people from the private sector together to work on projects.

The 2017 legislative session starts Jan. 9 and is scheduled to last 105 days.

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