Western’s Board of Trustees adopts budget with increases in tuition, more support for student services

Western’s Board of Trustees approved a 2022-2023 state operating budget Friday with $1.26 million in new funding for student support, as well as money to strengthen Western’s nursing programs.

The board also voted to raise resident undergraduate tuition and capital building fees by 2.4 percent and by 3.5 percent for all other types of tuition for ’22-’23, including for graduate students and non-resident undergraduates.

The trustees passed four increases to mandatory student fees: The Student health Services Fee went up 17.9 percent; the Active Transportation Fee (formerly the alternative transportation fee) will increase by 5.2 percent for students 19 and older; two other mandatory fees were increased by 4 percent, the Non-Academic Building Fee and a portion of the Services and Activities Fee. All other fees remained the same.

Western’s resident, undergraduate tuition and fees will cost $8,967.86 in the 2022-23 academic year. Even with the increase, Western’s tuition will remain one of the lowest in the state – University of Washington’s resident undergraduate tuition is higher by 60.4 percent.

In its April meeting, the trustees had approved a 3.55 percent increase in base residence hall room and board rates, and a 6 percent increase in Birnam Wood apartment rental rates.

The $212,404,460 state operating budget also includes a 4.25 percent raise for faculty, professional staff and executive officers, and a 3.25 percent raise for classified staff, who will also receive a lump-sum payment.

Several new initiatives are included in the state operating budget, such as:

· Student Access, Retention, and Success: $1.26 million. Investments in student services will include additional financial aid counselors, multicultural student services staff, accessible technology support, enrollment personnel, and Western on the Peninsula curriculum and student service roles.

· Nursing Workforce Needs:

Master's in Nursing degree program: $461,000 to establish a new Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program, with tracks focused on population health, nursing administration, and nursing education.

RN to BSN in Nursing program: $433,000 to align tuition rates for WWU’s existing Bachelor of Science in Nursing (an RN-to-BSN program) with other state-supported undergraduate degree programs at Western.

· Funding for Cyber Range Poulsbo: $769,000. Upgrading hardware and software, and investing in additional technical and research support.

· Compensation Support: $767,000, in addition to the state’s prior share of compensation increases, moving toward the state funding a greater proportion of the cost of compensation increases.

· Legal Services: reflected in both the AG and WWU budgets (1.8 FTE).

· Everett compensation increases: $33,000. To fund the state’s share of compensation increases for employees funded by a pass-through to Washington State University.

· Hazing Prevention: $66,000. To implement a new bill that applies to all state-funded institutions of higher education.

· Accessory Dwelling Unit Review: $30,000. To conduct a study requested by the legislature.

One-time funding in the ‘22-‘23 state operating budget includes money for Multicultural Student Services programming, mental health first aid training for staff and an accommodations counselor in the Disability Access Center – which are all requested for ongoing funding in the ‘23-‘25 budget.

In addition, the ’22-23 state operating budget includes ongoing funding for several initiatives that previously received one-time funding, including equity, inclusion and diversity work in the College of Business and Economics, funding for the Institute for Global Engagement, expansion of first-year programs, and tuition support for Western on the Peninsulas.

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved 1,888 spring quarter degrees, including 1,737 undergraduate degrees, 140 master’s degrees, 11 professional certificates, and five professional doctoral degrees.

The board also awarded a progressive design-build contract for $250,000 to Wellman & Zuck Construction of Bellingham for design and construction services on the Coast Salish Longhouse. The project team will include Johnpaul Jones of Jones & Jones Architects, who is one of the prime architects of Native installations and buildings in the U.S. Jones, whose mother had Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, has worked with the Smithsonian Museum, and on longhouses for the University of Washington, and Evergreen State College and was the first architect awarded the National Humanities Medal.

The trustees also adopted resolutions recognizing the work of Brent Carbajal, who retires this summer as Western’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Nate Jo on the conclusion of his term as a Student Trustee.

See the recording of the June 10 Board of Trustees meeting here.