Thank you, Advocates: Success in 2018

The University of Washington and higher education fared well this legislative session, buoyed by a favorable revenue projection (the state had more money than anticipated) and compelling requests. The Legislature funded projects, programs and compensation at all three UW campuses, and made great strides in funding the State Need Grant. Legislators are still on the hook to fulfill their obligation to fully fund K-12 education, but we end this session with the hope that higher education is being recognized for its value for Washington – whether you’re a student, a parent, an employee, a patient, or a community member.

Based on our legislative priorities, here are highlights of our successes this session:

  • Funding support for staff and faculty compensation. Adjusts state funding to cover 50% of new expenses for employee compensation and central services, from the previous 34%. This takes the burden off of tuition-paying students and aligns the UW with the state support given to the other 5 public universities.
  • Significant investment in the State Need Grant (SNG). Generously provides additional funding for 4,600 students who qualify for our state’s financial aid program, but have gone unserved up to this point. This investment also lays out a plan to fully fund the SNG within four years which will serve the nearly 20,000 students left unserved.
  • Passage of the state’s 2017-19 biennial capital budget. The University was able to secure funding for nearly all capital priorities as reflected in the 2018 legislative agenda. The budget contains strategic investments that greatly benefit all three UW campuses, especially in high demand and high impact areas for our state. You can read more about our capital budget wins here.
  • Greater access to UW’s high-demand Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) program. Additional funding will double the number of enrollments of the CSE program to more than 600 degrees per year. This academic year, only 43% of UW students who successfully completed prerequisite courses and applied to the CSE program could be accommodated.

2018 Highlighted Advocacy Events

Huskies on the Hill

For the first time, alumni joined UW students for their annual day of advocacy in Olympia. UW Impact partnered with ASUW, GPSS, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma to bring more than 100 students together with alumni to advocate for the UW and higher education. With a shared voice, students and alumni were able to tell their UW stories in meetings with legislators. Additionally, advocates had to opportunity to have special meet-and-greets with Gov. Jay Inslee, Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp.

The message we heard in these meetings was clear: the time to invest in higher education is upon us, and now is the time for all higher education advocates to come together.

Husky Caucus Day

On February 22nd advocates from UW Impact, UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees, and the UW Board of Regents traveled down to Olympia to deliver UW-themed cookies to Huskies serving in our State Legislature. We were able to thank lawmakers for their favorable budget proposals and acknowledge their efforts towards ensuring the UW remains strong for future generations of Huskies.

THANK YOU to those who took action with us this session! Due to your advocacy, UW and higher education had significant wins. One final, important step: please click here to join us in thanking legislators for their efforts in supporting public higher education.