Members of the Washington State University Board of Regents approved the university system’s state supplemental operating budget request for fiscal year 2024.
This year’s appeal for supplemental funding from the Washington Legislature focused on three specific requests:
- $19.6 million biennially to purchase carbon offset credits to ensure compliance with the state of Washington’s Climate Commitment Act
- Additional funding to offset economic impacts stemming from a pending collective bargaining agreement with graduate students represented by the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Workers of America or UAW
- $1.95 million biennially to fund the addition of a new supply chain management major to the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
In order to meet the requirements of the Climate Commitment Act, WSU and other enterprises with carbon-producing facilities across the state must purchase carbon allowances to offset their emissions. Market prices for these credits have exceeded the base funding of $1.718 million provided by the state to WSU beginning this fiscal year, and so the university is requesting additional funding to compensate for that difference, Interim Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations Chris Mulick explained during Friday’s special Board of Regents meeting.
Because of the ongoing nature of negotiations between the university and union-represented graduate student employees, the exact amount of funding being requested in the supplemental budget is not finalized. Regents gave authority to President Kirk Schulz to make adjustments to the university’s request prior to the Sept. 13 deadline to submit to the state’s Office of Financial Management.
The $1.95 million ask rounding out WSU’s supplemental request will allow the university to offer a new supply chain management degree in-person on the Everett and Vancouver campuses in coordination with the Carson College of Business. The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on supply chains world-wide underscored the value of the field, with WSU seeking to train the next generation workforce to meet the field’s needs.
The WSU Board of Regents is next scheduled to meet Sept. 14-15 in Pullman. More information is available on the WSU Board of Regents website.