Photos by Becky Phillips, WSU Today)
Scores of students and faculty rallied at noon Thursday on the Glenn Terrell Mall to show support for programs and employees that might be cut as a result of impending state budget reductions. At about 1 p.m., the crowd, picket signs in hand, moved east to French Administration Building where they surrounded much of the second and third floor stairway landings and began chanting demands for information on possible budget cuts, teacher and staff layoffs, and program cuts.
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The idea of performance contracts, or funding according to results, is part of a recently released draft of a state strategic master plan for higher education.
“There seems to be a gradually evolving interest by more people in coming to some kind of agreement or relationship” between legislative appropriation and higher education accountability, said Jane Sherman, WSU vice provost for academic policy and evaluation in Olympia.
The idea prompted WSU to prepare a performance agreement prototype in February 2005. It outlined potential increases in enrollment, degrees granted, nonstate research funding, student research experiences and more as returns for increasing state investment through 2011.
Some months … » More …
The single biggest legislative blow to higher education over the years has been the state’s decision to pay a decreasing percentage of university costs.
So says Karl Boehmke, an astute legislative observer who retired last month as WSU executive budget director after 32 years of service at the university. He worked directly for the last three presidents preparing state funding requests, as well as creating and managing the university’s budget.
“In the ‘70s and before, there seemed to be a feeling among the public and the Legislature that it was the … » More …