Regents approve biennial operating budget request

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At a special online meeting on June 17, the Washington State University Board of Regents approved four action items, including the university’s 2025–27 Biennial Operating Budget Request from the state.

The regents also approved a temporary fund transfer to cover the $88.4 million end of FY 2024 budget deficit for WSU Athletics as well as a proposal to restructure the nonprofit Range Community Clinic under the leadership of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane. Finally, the regents voted to authorize the university to enter into a license agreement for the commercialization of WA 64, WSU’s newest apple variety.

The meeting opened up with a presentation by Leslie Brunelli, executive vice president of finance and administration, on the completed budget development cycle for the 2025 fiscal year. Overall, the FY 2025 all funds budget amounts to $1.3 billion. The new budget minimizes impacts to colleges by taking larger reductions in administration and support functions.

The Biennial Operating Budget Request, which was approved by the regents and will be submitted in September, includes compensation increases for both faculty and staff commensurate with previous years’ requests. The actual percentage of the increases for both years will be determined just prior to the submission deadline to reflect the most current outlook on the state’s fiscal health. WSU is also requesting improvements to the state appropriation-plus-tuition funding formula which would reduce reliance on tuition revenues unlikely to materialize over the next two years due to enrollment reductions and capped tuition increases.

In addition to compensation increases for faculty and staff, the university’s state funding request includes:

  • $10.5 million biennially to fund the Academic Student Employee bargaining contract
  • $3.6 million biennially to support the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s ongoing accreditation efforts
  • $2.2 million biennially to establish the Native Coug Scholars Fund at WSU, which helps fulfill unmet financial needs for Native American students
  • $1 million biennially to provide support for the Schweitzer Engineering Hall currently under construction at WSU Pullman

The regents also approved plans to restructure the faculty clinical practice plan for the Range Community Clinic, moving it from a separate 501(c)(3) entity to being under the direct oversight of the College of Medicine. The integration will align with standard practices for medical schools and is crucial for addressing running deficits and accreditation issues.

Finally, the Board of Regents approved a motion to enter into a license agreement for the commercialization of WSU’s newest apple, WA 64, with the International New Varieties Network. The board was asked to delegate authority to the university to sign the license agreement, as it is anticipated to exceed the $5 million contracting authority limit.

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