MEDIA ADVISORY: The presidents of Washington State University and the University of Washington will hold a joint news conference in Vancouver on Monday, Jan. 27, prior to their appearance as speakers at a Higher Education Leadership Luncheon for area business and civic leaders. The news conference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in the Board Room at the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, 100 Columbia St., Vancouver.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins and University of Washington Interim President Lee Huntsman are expected to tell gathered community leaders about their concerns for the future of higher education in the state during a Jan. 27 luncheon at the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay.

Representatives of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Columbia River Economic Development Council and Identity Clark County are among those expected at the noon luncheon.

In November 2002, the two presidents called on the Washington State Legislature to stop “watering the soup,” by allocating funding that has not kept pace with the per-student cost of providing education at Washington’s two largest universities.

The presidents have already asked Washington Governor Gary Locke and the legislature to boost the core funding of WSU and UW by nearly $100 million in the 2003-05 biennium. They say increased research funding, improvement of faculty salaries and better academic budgets are critical if the universities are to maintain their high standing and quality.