We Have a Budget

April 11, 2012

Colleagues:

Earlier this morning, the House and the Senate agreed upon a supplemental budget for the biennium we are currently in. Numbering several hundred pages, this budget document always takes us several days to fully digest. But, I want to get word out to you as soon as possible and so, with that caveat in place, it is our current understanding that there are no additional cuts for Western.

That there are no additional cuts is a remarkable outcome given where we started: In December we were looking at devastating additional cuts of $7M. And, if you go back several years – when public higher education was prominent on everybody’s cut list – the turnaround is all the more remarkable.

Absolutely critical has been the consistent and consistently aggressive advocacy of so many: alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, unions, Trustees, local community members, Foundation and advisory Board members, and leaders in the private sector. I am particularly proud of Western – and all who are Western – for you have been prominently in the lead as this turnaround was accomplished.

On behalf of all of us working toward brighter futures for Washington, a big and sincere “thank you.” A “thank you” to all who are Western. And, all of us owe Ms. Sherry Burkey a special thanks for her leadership in coordinating the many efforts and her relentless dedication to effectively representing us in Olympia.

Also, although it is not always popular to say so, I have been in the midst of the political processes, and I want to share this observation: Our elected officials are bright, hardworking, dedicated public servants who are grappling with enormously complex problems that have very serious consequences. They come from several different political orientations and do not have the privilege of dealing with complex challenges at the simplistic level of the cliché. Consequently, their efforts take time. Their shared dedication to doing what is best for Washington, though, should never be doubted. With no additional cuts to public higher education, they did very well for Washington and deserve our gratitude.

Your involvement has made a real difference. Please do not stop now. Saying "thank you" is more than just good manners — it is politically wise. Please let our public officials know how much you appreciate a “no additional cuts to public higher education” outcome if those are your sentiments. Western Advocates remains one mechanism for so doing.

As there are no additional cuts to a budget that was developed and adopted through last spring’s transparent, bottom up budget and planning processes, there is no need to revisit the 2011-13 budget.

My best,
Bruce

Page Updated 11.27.2013