ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University could move forward on long-term operations plans next year without a tuition increase, under terms of a proposed two-year state operating budget. The proposal, agreed to by House and Senate conferees, was released late Thursday evening and is expected to move through the legislature and to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee by Saturday.
"This is a good proposal; for the next year it will allow us to move forward on the long-term strategic plan we've set for the university," said CWU president James L. Gaudino. "We are very appreciative of the work our local legislators have done on behalf of CWU and hope sustained improvement in the economy will allow continued state support for public higher education."
The budget, agreed to by House and Senate budget leaders, restores about $7.8 million in CWU's budget and freezes tuition for the 2013-2014 school year. In the second year of the biennium, 2014-2015, universities could increase tuition, but would have to mitigate the effects of increases on low-income students.
The draft budget includes two special directives for CWU. The first charges CWU with developing a plan to create an "online degree-granting entity that awards degrees based on an alternative credit model." The model, which could include granting academic credit for work experience, must be submitted to the higher education committees of the legislature by December 1, 2013.
The proposed budget also provides $25,000 for the College of Education to conduct a study "identifying the percent of a teacher's typical day that is spent on teaching related duties and the percentage of the teacher's day that is spent on duties that are not directly related to teaching." The university shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2013.
The legislature has not yet presented a draft agreement on a two-year construction budget.
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