New degree programs, capital projects funded in latest state budgets

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Washington State University secured significant state support for vital degree programs and campus improvement projects across the system as part of budget agreements approved by the Legislature over the weekend.

Both the 2023-25 operating and capital budgets now await Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.

As well as funding new degree programs and supporting student scholarship, the operating budget partially funds WSU’s compensation request. Additional state support for WSU employee compensation would be sufficient to provide faculty, professional staff and graduate students with a 2.2% compensation increase in fiscal year 2024 and a 1.6% increase in fiscal year 2025

A 4% and 3% cost of living adjustment for non-represented classified staff at WSU for FY 2024 and FY 2025 respectively was fully funded by legislators. 

The operating budget also fully funds the university’s request of $3.9 million to support salary enhancements for the College of Nursing, as well as $500,000 in one-time funds to purchase equipment.

External Affairs and Government Relations’ work with legislative leaders also resulted in funding for degree programs, scholarships and research centers throughout the WSU system:

  • $7.7 million for the development of the Institute for Northwest Energy Futures at WSU Tri-Cities
  • $2.5 million for the creation of a public health degree program offering an infectious disease track in Pullman and a behavioral health path for WSU Spokane and WSU Vancouver
  • $2.4 million to establish a two-year Journalism Fellowship Program via the Murrow College of Communication
  • $1.6 million to establish a four-plus-one bachelor’s and masters degree program at WSU Tri-Cities
  • $1.2 million in one-time funds to establish a Native American Scholarship Program
  • $1.2 million in core support for the Ruckelshaus Center

On the 2023-2025 capital budget side, WSU secured a combined $53 million for facilities preservation efforts and small scale improvements. An additional $40 million to match philanthropic gifts for Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture’s forthcoming Student Services Building was also funded.

The Pullman campus received $22 million to renovate Eastlick, Abelson and Bustad Halls, with Bustad netting another $8 million to renovate two floors to support the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Simulation-based Education program. Another $10 million in state funding will be used to renovate the Knott Daily Center.

On the WSU Spokane Campus, $7 million will be used to design a new Team Health Education Building that will allow health sciences students to receive state-of-the-art simulation training. More information on capital budget allocations is available on the WSU Government Relations website.

Both the operating and capital budgets now head to Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign off in May.

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