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Why do they hate us so? April 10, 2009

Posted by gordonwatts in university, University of Washington.

Check out this picture:


Sorry if it gets cut off – click on it and look at the 2nd page of the PDF that comes up. Those numbers are the size of proposed cuts to higher education state-by-state – smaller is better!! Washington is highlighted. You’ll note Washington has the largest number. I’ve heard that Nevada is the one state that is worse. If you look at other state universities that are similar in size and stature to UW you’ll find they are getting 6%-8% cuts.

Our state is particularly bad off – but not the worst in the nation. I believe, for example, Florida is worse – they are planning on cutting their higher education program by 1% or 2%. Arizona – the only other university of similar size (though I think we are better ranked then they are) is planning on a 30% tuition increase to counter their cuts. A friend of mine, who is a professor there, commented “I wonder if there will be a physics department when I get back?”

So, what is going on in Washington?

Frankly, I don’t really understand what is going on. 🙂 Higher education here is getting cut harder than other programs in the state. The talk that is coming from some of our state politicians is so factually incorrect that it makes one wonder if facts are being stretched to make a point motivated by other forces (that I’m not aware of). I should also state that I see cuts to our budget as inevitable. There is just no way to avoid them – the whole state is going to suffer and everyone is going to have to bear some of the pain.

But these cuts will be painful!


1. How Big A Cut? « Life as a Physicist - April 13, 2009

[…] Last post I mentioned that Washington higher education state funding was facing something between a 20% and 30% cut. It is important to know what is actually being cut. It turns out the university gets its funding from three sources, roughly equal: state funds, grants, and endowment. The endowment money is colored: when it was gifted to the university it was gifted for a particular purpose – and often that can’t be used to hire people. I believe UW’s endowment is down about 25% or so right now. Grants are the research grants that people at the university get – for example, my NSF grant. The university skims off 20%-30% of the money from each grant and puts it towards operating expenses. Stimulus funding and increased budgets at the federal level mean that the grant income is about the same or even a bit better – as long as we don’t loose the people applying for those grants. […]

2. Chop 20%-30% « Life as a Physicist - April 15, 2009

[…] in University of Washington, university. trackback In the previous posts I mentioned the legislative atmosphere towards higher education and some general parameters in the ongoing budget […]

3. Finally, Getting A Spine « Life as a Physicist - April 20, 2009

[…] problem with politics is that even when you are mad you have to bite your tongue. These 20-30% cuts I’ve been talking about are, however, going to be a disaster for us. Our president has decided that it is time to […]

4. California… off a cliff « Life as a Physicist - June 22, 2009

[…] states escaped such dramatic changes. I think only Nevada was going to be hurt as badly as we were. California was bad when I wrote that post – about 10%. What I didn’t realize was the 10% […]

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