Bad Bad Bad, but not the disaster I was worried about April 28, 2009Posted by gordonwatts in university.
This email arrived last night in my inbox from Emmert, the president of the University of Washington:
For the University of Washington, the resulting budget decisions are dramatic. The bad news is that the Legislature decided to reduce state funding to the six public four-year college and universities more than any other sector in state government. The University of Washington received the highest percentage cut in all of higher education-26 percent. This is a stark and sobering number. Beginning July 1, one quarter of our funding from the state will no longer exist. It is unprecedented in state history, and as far as we know, it is by far the largest reduction in state support to a flagship university by any state in the nation. It takes our state funding level back to where it was more than a decade ago and drops the portion of the state budget dedicated to four-year higher education to an all-time low.
That is impressive, isn’t it? 26%. States worse off than us have cut their big universities by far less. I don’t know what folks were thinking.
They threw us a pill to try to mitigate the pain. But the pill is rather bitter. Essentially the state transferred a large part of the funding they used to take care of onto the backs of our students. If you are going to cut by 26% then something has to be done in order to mitigate the cuts. The university does not survive as one of the premiere ones in the USA if you don’t. In the end the cuts end up being 12%.
I’m curious to see what happens to individual departments. I also hope the university tracks (and makes public) how many people they loose because of this. I suspect a lot of people are looking for jobs elsewhere now.