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Central Washington University

CWU President Now Heads the Council of Presidents

Central Washington University President James L. Gaudino will chair the Washington State Council of Presidents (COP) for the next 12 months. The voluntary association is made up of the presidents of CWU, the University of Washington, Washington State University, The Evergreen State College, Eastern Washington University, and Western Washington University. The council promotes coordination and collaboration among the member institutions, as well as with other educational partners in Washington and across the country.

“We have a great tradition of working as a team to enhance support for baccalaureate education in Washington,” said Gaudino, noting this year marked the first year-to-year increase in state funding since 2007. “We have just begun to reverse the disinvestment in public baccalaureate education and still have a lot of work to do.

The council advocated for state support that would forestall the need for tuition increases. As a result the legislature provided $119 million in additional funding for the four-year institutions and community and technical colleges, including a net increase of $17 million in financial aid.

Gaudino said the presidents would continue to build on the successes of the most recent legislative session, and position higher education to regain ground lost during the Great Recession, when state funding fell by 50 percent. This year the council will participate in a wide range of higher education initiatives, including a study on performance-based funding and the development of a ten-year strategic plan for higher education.

The COP regularly convenes a variety of groups to share best practices; promote efficient,  effective instruction, and operations; and collaborate in the development of public policy. CWU administrators will lead the work of those groups. Provost Marilyn Levine will chair the academic officers committee; George Clark, vice president for business and financial affairs, will lead the business officers committee.

The COP chair position alternates annually among the presidents of member institutions.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1384, schactler@cwu.edu

July 12, 2013