April 30, 2002
The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 10:45 a.m., and again at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2002, in the Compton Union, Building, Cascade Rooms 123-125, Pullman, WA.
Present: Regent Rob Fukai, President; Regent Joe King, Vice President; Regents Kenneth Alhadeff, Darren P. Eastman, Peter J. Goldmark, Steven R. Hill, and William Marler; President V. Lane Rawlins, Vice President for Student Affairs Charlene Jaeger, Interim Vice President for Information Technology Mary Doyle, Senior Assistant Attorney General Antoinette Ursich, Faculty Senate Chair William Cofer, ASWSU President Jesse Keene, and GPSA President Victoria Hansel-Kuehn.
1. Opening Remarks. Regent Fukai 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 year 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 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, 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 the upcoming May meeting.
He gave instructions to those who wanted to make comments.
2. Presentation. President Rawlins briefly told the Regents how grateful he is for their willingness to do this, he said in all his years in higher education he has never seen Regents willing to be available for input from the University Community before making such decisions. He is also thankful that our Board is 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.
3. Reports from University Groups.
Faculty Senate Chair Bill Cofer provided comments from the faculty perspective. He said that in these difficult times for the University, everyone is contributing. Faculty with no salary increases and increased health costs, WSU programs with budget reductions, and students with tuition increases. He said faculty are not begging for their salary increases, they are pleading for health and quality of the institution. He noted that as a research institution, our vision includes teaching, research, and service. Teaching involves contact with students; research is the advancement of the state of the art in our specialty, and in that role, and we are part of an international community; and service includes activities such as his activities today, governance of the university, college, and department, service to professions, and service to the public. Most faculty work very long hours, balancing demands that often total more than 100%. Cutting salaries means losing positions. We currently have excellent young faculty, with noncompetitive salaries. He concluded by saying that the tuition increase although unpopular, is necessary to preserve the underpinnings of WSU to carry out its mission.
ASWSU President Jesse Keene started off by saying that the undergraduate students of WSU do not want to see the quality of their education diminished. They do not want to see a loss in faculty members, or faculty programs. However, the problem they see is what is happening to higher education in the State of Washington, the constant rising of costs over the past years. He provided data of debt burden students will have when they leave the university. He also noted other costs the students face in addition to tuition. The rising cost of transportation, books, parking fees and much more. Students understand there is a need for quality, but there is a serious problem in funding higher education in State of Washington. Students want support in keeping the cost of higher education down.
GSPA President Victoria Hansel-Kuehn commented by saying the GPSA students’ hope their voices will be heard. They want quality education, but cannot disregard the impact tuition increases have on them and their access to programs. She noted that the opportunities for students to work to pay the additional increase are not there. Quality and education is not just about resources of faculty, but also about the opportunities for students to excel. We want quality graduates; we want people to hire WSU professional students because they are the best.
4. Public Comment. Approximately 35 students, staff, and faculty provided their comments to the Board. There was also an email address given for those who could not be at either session.
5. Regent Discussion. The Board thanked everyone for their comments. Regent Fukai reminded people that they would continue to take comments via email if they didn’t have the opportunity to do so in the special meetings.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m. and again at 1:45 p.m.
Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held at Washington
State University Vancouver, Student Services Center Room 236, Vancouver,
Washington, June 14, 2002