President Shepard sends message to campus regarding new budget

[ Editor's note: This story has been amended to reflect the correct date of the special Board of Trustees meeting, which is July 18. ]

Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard sent a message to the WWU campus community this afternoon regarding the state budget for 2013-15:


There is a compromise biennial state budget for 2013-15 now agreed to and expected to be approved by both the House and Senate today and then signed by Governor Inslee.  So, not yet final but want you to know where Western appears to stand.

After some very tough years, we are pleased with the State’s reinvestment in higher education and recognition that Western can be a partner by building on our considerable strengths to serve the needs of Washington State.

This new budget accomplishes a number of important outcomes for Western, its students, and their families.  Among those outcomes are:

  • 0% resident tuition increase for 2013-14;
  • No-strings-attached full maintenance level  funding;
  • Additional funding that provides enhanced institutional budget support;
  • New funding for expansion of Computer Science and Engineering enrollments;

You may recall that we celebrated last year’s supplemental budget because for the first time in four years it had no additional cuts for Western and higher education.  I am pleased that we have taken yet another step forward as the 2013-15 biennial budget begins what we hope will be an ongoing re-investment in higher education.  Clearly this is an important first step in helping us to continue our work in creating brighter futures for Washington.

With a regular session plus two special sessions, this has been a long and challenging process.  There were significant differences in the proposed House and Senate budgets.  I salute the leadership and members of both the House and Senate and the Governor for their good work in reaching a Compromise Bill that supports Western’s ability to make a difference for Washington, a budget for higher education significantly better than the earlier approaches taken by the House and by the Senate.  A comparison of the Comprise Budget to earlier versions is available here.

I extend a special thank you to our University community for its involvement and patience through this 150 day legislative session. Students, faculty, staff, alumni , parents, trustees, union leadership and friends, your involvement has made a real difference and I thank you for that.  A special thanks to Sherry Burkey for her always exceptional dedication and relentless efforts effectively representing us all.

As opportunities arise I encourage you to take a few minutes of your time to thank our legislators for listening, hearing and supporting Western.  That is the Western Way  

Western can now resume its bottom-up, transparent budget process.  University leadership is now hard at work preparing recommendations for the campus community to critique prior to my recommending a budget to the Board of Trustees on July 18th.  The process, modified for the late legislative budget, can be found here.  Questions about the budget may be directed to Budget Director Linda Teater.

All my best,