WSU President Discusses Higher Ed Funding

Feb 2, 2012

Six college presidents from across Washington state met in Seattle Wednesday night to discuss funding higher education. Northwest Public Radio’s Bryan Buckalew has more.

Washington State University president Elson Floyd says the state is at a “tipping point” when it comes to funding higher education. Floyd joined six Washington college presidents in Seattle [last night] Wednesday night to discuss higher ed funding. He says colleges and universities should expect cuts in difficult economic times, but they should not take a disproportionate share.

Floyd: “If there are two sentences that I could ask you to communicate to all of your legislators that is: Invest in higher education because it’s important to the future of the state of Washington.”

Two decades ago, the state paid over 80 percent of the cost of educating an in-state student. Under the governor's latest budget proposal, the state would pay about 35 percent. This year, the cost of one year of in-state tuition at Washington State University is $9,300. That’s a 16 percent increase from the previous year. Even with the tuition increases, president Floyd says WSU is struggling to attract and keep talented faculty.

Floyd: “We do have states across the nation that are investing in higher education. And we are competing each and every day with those institutions for the retention and the hiring of the best and the brightest faculty members.”

Washington State University may face addition funding cuts as state lawmakers decided how to close an estimated $1 billion budget gap.

Northwest Public Radio