Mark Emmert made a pitch to the editorial board of the News Tribune today for the University of Washington’s main legislative request – the ability to set tuition without getting annual authority from Olympia.
Currently the Legislature decides during each budget process how much universities and community colleges can charge. The tendency is to allow small hikes in relatively good times and big ones in bad times.
Last session the Legislature authorized the six four-year universities to raise tuition 14 percent in the current school year and 14 percent next year. But that wasn’t enough to offset state budget cuts with more cuts coming this year.
“Tuition is the only reliable revenue stream and it’s where the world is headed,” he said. “The state is disinvesting in higher education.” Since the 2001-03 budget, overall state spending is up 40 percent but spending on the four-year colleges is down 7.3 percent.
For the first time, the UW gets more money from tuition than it does from the Legislature. Read more »