Trustees Visit & Washington Competes

February 8, 2017
Washington State Flag

Today is Day 31 of the 2017 Regular Session.

Last week, we had Trustees Murphy, Wilson, Tanaka, and Manning in town for the annual Trustees and Regents day. We had over 30 Trustees and Regents participating from nearly every public college and university in the state. Over the course of the day, Trustees met with the Governor and 27 different representatives and senators. They discussed higher education’s top two priorities for the year: Washington Competes and fully funding the State Need Grant.

Washington Competes

This past fall, all six of Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions alongside our community and technical college partners as well as the Independent Colleges of Washington endorsed Washington Competes. This plan outlines a bold agenda for the next decade of higher education of higher education investments including:

Degrees to meet demand: Address state needs through targeted investments

  • Expand capacity to support student completion in the areas they pursue. This includes enrollments that fill skill gaps in high-demand fields such as STEM, teacher preparation, health care, and priority workforce programs.
  • Reduce bottlenecks in high-demand and priority workforce programs and courses, and improve student time to degree or credential.
  • Ensure that graduates have the breadth of knowledge, aptitudes, and experiences enabling them to adapt to a changing economy and workforce. The workforce of tomorrow will need to be more nimble and flexible than before – the core skills that the humanities can provide lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning and reinvention – of business, of themselves.

Student success: Ensure that students have the resources to graduate

  • Invest in proven strategies that retain students and lead to degree completion.
  • Strengthen pathways for historically underserved populations, transfer students, veterans, and adult learners.
  • Fully fund the State Need Grant to permit more students to attend college and reduce student debt loads.

High impact credentials: Ensure that all students excel in today’s competitive labor market

  • Provide an educational experience that equips students with knowledge, skills, and experiences that translate from the classroom to the workplace.
  • Invest in competitive compensation for faculty and staff in order to attract and retain quality educators.

Eastern Washington University fully supports Washington Competes and looks forward to working with all of our postsecondary partners over the duration of this session and beyond the meet the higher education demands of our state.

Sen. Schoesler and Sen. Bailey with Trustees
Governor Inslee and Trustees