Regarding the Governor's Supplemental Budget Proposal
The Governor's preliminary proposal to cut at least 15% and up to 20% from the state's higher education budget—that's another $10.1 to $13.5M for Western on top of the $32.9M cut already taken for the 2011-13 biennium—is a disaster for the state of Washington. Coupled with a proposal to suspend the state work study program for students, the proposal is a disaster for Washington's economy and a disaster for Washington's families and children.
Cuts of this magnitude will cripple our ability to provide broad access to quality higher education for Washington's citizens. We are deeply concerned about what these cuts could mean for Western and our ability to support brighter futures for our students, for our state.
Last year, we began the legislative session with a similarly disastrous budget proposed by the Governor, one that would have gutted our capacity to build stronger futures for Washington. While serious cuts were necessary, in the end, our elected leaders understood the need to protect access to the quality that defines Western's special contributions to a stronger Washington.
Like last year, we must again stay together as a campus and aggressively rally our advocates across the state to ensure that current and future students can create brighter futures for themselves at a strong Western. And, like last year, if we stay together and stay effectively engaged, our commitments as a proudly publicly purposed university are much more likely to be heard and prevail. And, prevail they must.
This is the first step in a very long process. No decisions about programs or positions have been considered and, as always, we will move forward with an inclusive, deliberate budget process focused on preserving academic excellence and the outstanding faculty and staff who are Western.
Having witnessed your strength and perseverance over the last year, we know we can count on you to join in the collective efforts of the campus community and our various constituent groups to fight to keep Western strong.