UW Faculty and the Budget Victory

The July 1 Seattle Times headline was a sight for sore eyes! “'Historic’ tuition cut sets state apart from rest of U.S.”

UW faculty should feel proud of our role in helping achieve this positive outcome for ourselves, our students and our University.

Last week, as policy makers in Olympia were negotiating the state budget, we delivered our petition with over 3,500 signatures to Governor Inslee and legislative leaders, demanding a new course for future investments in UW.

The July 1 Seattle Times headline was a sight for sore eyes! “'Historic’ tuition cut sets state apart from rest of U.S.”

Here are some other welcome details of the state budget, which was signed into law by Governor Inslee:

  • In addition to UW student tuition cuts of 15% between 2015–2017, more money was allocated for student scholarships.
  • Tuition cuts were backfilled with additional funding made possible by closing corporate tax loopholes.
  • The university's biennial operating funding from the state will increase by $119,039,000, a 23.8% increase over 2013-15.
  • There will be sufficient funds for faculty and professional staff salary increases of 3% in FY16 and 1.8% in FY17.
  • UW staff union contracts are fully funded.
  • Threatened cuts to state employee health insurance (including UW faculty) were defeated.
  • Much-needed new funding for K-12 schools did not come at the expense of higher education.

UW faculty should feel proud of our role in helping achieve this positive outcome for ourselves, our students and our University.

Last week, as policy makers in Olympia were negotiating the state budget, we delivered our petition with over 3,500 signatures to Governor Inslee and legislative leaders, demanding a new course for future investments in UW.

The Seattle Times covered our delegation to Gerberding, when we called on the UW Board of Regents to use an open and inclusive process to select the next UW President. Our petition was also recognized in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education regarding the UW presidential search.

Image: KOMO evening news coverage of petition delivery to Gov. Inslee Image: KIRO morning news coverage of petition delivery to Gov. Inslee

Thanks to our newly-launched faculty union campaign, our efforts received wide public attention in ways we haven’t seen before. That, combined with efforts by education advocates and unions across the state, helped pressure the Legislature and Governor to reach a budget deal that begins to reverse years of under-investment in higher education.

Of course, this budget deal is not enough. We must continue to build a powerful faculty movement that insists that the UW, as a flagship public university, needs a real, long-term solution to fully fund education, which includes:

  • An open and inclusive process for appointing a new UW President and UW Regents who will support our core educational values instead of running our school like a giant, private corporation.
  • New, progressive revenues like a capital gains tax on the wealthiest few in order to maintain tuition reductions and assistance and continued investment in UW faculty, students and staff.
All UW photographs by Curtis Cronn and subject to CC-licenses as indicated on Flickr

Created with NationBuilder