April 29, 2003
The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 11:30 a.m., on Tuesday, April 29, 2003, over WHETS in Pullman, the Food Science Human Nutrition Building, Room T101, Spokane the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute 350, Tri-Cities, West Building 224, and in Vancouver, Classroom Building 116.
Present: Regent Jo King (Vancouver), President; Regent William Marler, Vice President; Regents Kenneth Alhadeff (Tri-Cities), Jason O. Johnson, Peter J. Goldmark, Steven R. Hill (Pullman), and Christopher J. Marr (Spokane); President V. Lane Rawlins, Vice President for Student Affairs Charlene Jaeger, Vice President for University Relations Sally P. Savage, Vice President for Information Technology Mary Doyle, Senior Assistant Attorney General Antoinette Ursich, Chancellor Hal Dengerink, Chancellor Larry James (Tri-Cities), Chancellor Rom Markin (Spokane), Faculty Senate Chair Barry Swanson, ASWSU President Scott Dickinson, and GPSA President JoLie Wagner.
1. Opening Remarks. Regent King welcomed everyone to the meeting. He noted the general purpose of this special meeting was to hear comments from the University Community. He said that over the past two years there has been much dialogue about the state of the economy and the impact that the economy has had on every aspect in the state of Washington. He indicated that because the shortfall in revenue in the State of Washington, services and budgets has to be reduced. WSU is not exempt from those impacts and as part of the budget package that are proposed by the Governor and legislature. It is anticipated that the University is being asked to reduce expenses across the board. In addition to that, the University is expected to offset even further reductions in the quality of education by imposing tuition increases.
He indicated that the Board wants to hear comments from the various constituents of the University community on the budget and on tuition levels so that the Board of Regents can make a decision at an upcoming meeting.
He gave instructions to those who wanted to make comments.
2. Presentation. President Rawlins expressed his appreciation to the Regents for their willingness to be available to hear public comment again this year. He also thanked the Board for being truly concerned about our budget situation and concerned for the welfare of our students and to maintain the quality of their education.
President Rawlins asked Karl Boehmke to present budget recommendations and proposed tuition rate setting (Exhibit A).
3. Reports from University Groups.
Faculty Senate Chair Barry Swanson thanked and commended the Board for giving them the opportunity to comment on the proposed budget reductions and tuition increases. He said that it is unfortunate that the Governor and Washington legislature is once again placing the governing boards and administrators of higher education in the difficult position of dealing with budget reductions and tuition increases. He added that although we would all like to believe we can influence legislators with reason and the economic stimuli provided by improving the quality of higher education, it appears that calling attention to higher education all too often results in legislator frustration and displeasure. Dr. Swanson also added that the suggested tuition increases are necessary to maintain the quality of higher education the faculty at WSU regrets the proposals for once again increasing the tuition of its students; recognized that the legislature is placing a greater burden for the price of higher education on the students and their parents while reducing the necessary responsibility of the legislature to assist Washington families in the funding of higher education; yet supports the decisions to increase tuition to maintain the quality of educational programs at Washington State University.
ASWSU President Scott Dickinson thanked the Board for their open communication and taking the time to visit all the campuses of Washington State University. He said as a student, he recognizes the importance that dialog plays in creating a university that is open to comments and concerns. He expressed concern that the Governor and state legislatures who do not recognize the significance of higher education on a daily basis, and they leave the Regents in the position of raising tuition. He added that students never want to see tuition increases, but they are leaving us with no choice.
GSPA President JoLie Wagner thanked the Board for giving the graduate and professional students the opportunity to talk with them about the tuition increases. She also thanked them for raising tuition at a reasonable rate, especially for the professional students who took such a big increase last year. She added that the students understand the need for a tuition increase.
4. Public Comment. Approximately 15 students, staff, and faculty provided their comments to the Board. There was also an email address given for those who could not attend in person. Ev Davis, from Facilities Operations showed some slides on the effect the budget cuts have in his area (Exhibit B).
5. Regent Discussion. The Board thanked everyone for their comments. Regent King reminded people that they would continue to take comments via email if they didn't have the opportunity to do so in the special meeting. Regent King commented that we need to convince the legislature that we can be a part of turning the budget around. Regent Marler commented that perhaps it is time we change the leadership in the State. Regent Goldmark pointed out that the lack of student participation is a statement on its own. Regent Alhadeff commented that what it gets down to is public responsibility to the greater good of our country and our state and Regent Marr commented that our best and brightest will go elsewhere and that we may be stepping down the wrong road if we deny access.
Meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held in Lighty Student Services Building, Room 405, Pullman, Washington, on May 9, 2003.
ORIGINAL SIGNED COPY AVAILABLE IN THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE