Skip to body

Public Affairs

Government Relations

Welcome to the CWU Office of Government Relations! Our website is an important part of our commitment to transparency and accountability in public higher education. If you don't see what you need here, please contact us and we'll get you the information you need.

The Department of Public Affairs is CWU's official  liaison with local, state, federal and elected officials for regulatory, budget, and policy matters of all kinds. We can help direct you to the right contact and provide critical background about legislative districts, pending policy issues, and current CWU data.


For the 2015 session of the state legislature, CWU's top capital budget request is the construction/renovation of Samuelson STEM. This $64-million project turns a Depression-era building into a state-of-the-art science facility. The former student union building has been vacant for eight years. This project returns Samuelson to service as a facility for the following high-demand programs: 

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology and Administrative Management
  • Mathematics
  • Online learning

Samuelson STEM also will provide safe and secure space for the university telecommunications system and the data center that stores and backs up key databases for student and research information.Click here for more information about this exciting project.

CWU's 2015 Supplemental Budget Request is for $4.2 million to eliminate a budget shortfall created when the Legislature suspended state law. In 2011, the Legislature passed ESHB 1795 which allowed limited tuition-setting authority in exchange for significant new accountability measures and a requirement to increase financial aid if tuition exceeded budgeted levels.

After losing half of state funding between 2008 and 2011, CWU’s trustees created a six-year, budget-recovery plan, based on the provisions of ESHB 1795. The six-year budget flight plan was intentionally structured to make incremental tuition increases over six years in order to ensure affordability and predictability in tuition rates.Unfortunately, after only two years the Legislature suspended the tuition provisions of state law on which CWU built its six-year flight plan, leaving the university short of operating funds.

Central's 2015-2017 Biennial Operating Budget Request calls upon the state to 
Reinvest in Public Baccalaureate Education.  Together, Washington's baccalaureate institutions have requested $198 million to forestall tuition increases in the next biennium and avoid loss of programs and services. Of this, $16.7 million would allow CWU to hold resident undergraduate tuition rates at the current level and provide the following enhancements:

1) Create an Alternative Online Credit Model - $5 million
CWU proposes to launch an online, credit-granting system that serves working adults and reduces the time and cost required to earn a degree.

2) Increase Degree Completion - $1.4 million
CWU proposes to put innovative new research to work to improve advising and keep students in school—the smartest way to increase degree production. CWU now can precisely target students at risk of dropping out and intervene with support, advising, and other services to keep students on track to earn a degree.

3) Institute for Integrated Energy Management - $400,000
In partnership with key energy industries, CWU is the first university in the nation to launch a self-supporting energy institute that maps a route from old energy sources to new ones. Industry apprenticeships give students hands-on experience, producing experienced graduates for this high-demand field. 

4) Employee Recruitment and Retention - $9.47 million
CWU seeks state support to address salary erosion and compression and difficulty recruiting and retaining high quality professionals into higher education from a national market.


Please contact us whenever you have a question or concern:

-- Linda Schactler, Chief of Staff / Executive Director of Public Affairs
      509-963-1384; (M) 509-607-4103;
-- Ann Anderson, Director of Community and Government Relations
      509-963-2185; (M) 509-607-1273;
-- Antonio Sanchez, Assistant Director of Government Relations
      (during Interim) 509-963-3847, (M) 206 383-6980,
-- Steve DuPont, Assistant Director of Government Relations
      (during interim) 509-963-2185; (M) 509-201-0528;


​Budget and Policy Resources 

CWU is eager to illuminate the issues, programs, and individuals that make the university a wonderful educational institution and valuable state asset.  Budget and issue summaries are available here. Linda, Ann, Antonio and Steve will be happy to track down any additional information you may require.

Meet Our Legislative Team

Executive Director of Public Affairs, Linda Schactler, coordinates all external relations for CWU, including state and federal relations.  She works with the government relations staff in Olympia to ensure speedy and precise responses to legislative information requests on policy, budget, and constituent issues. Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. She holds a BA in English Literature from WSU and an in MA in English Literature from Washington University, St. Louis.

Director of Government Relations, Ann Anderson, is Central's lead staff in Olympia. She served in the Washington State Senate for 12 years where her leadership positions included Senate Majority Whip and Majority Caucus Chairwoman. As a state senator, her committee assignments included the Senate Higher Education and K-12 Education committees. Ann's work in education has been recognized with CWU's Distinguished Alumni Award and the Washington Vocational Education Special Legislative. Ann holds bachelor's and master's in education degrees from CWU.

Assistant Director of Government Relations,Steve DuPont, has been on CWU's Government Relations team since 2008.  He was the Vice President for Political Affairs for the Associated Students of Central Washington University, in 2006 and 2007. Steve served on the Washington Student Lobby Board of Directors and was awarded the President’s Cabinet Award in 2007 for his effective advocacy on behalf of students. Steve holds a BS in Construction Management from CWU and a Master in Education in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas.

CWU is delighted to welcome Assistant Director of Government Relations, Dr. Antonio Sanchez to the government relations team in 2015. Antonio earned his doctorate from the University of Washington and has more than 20 years of legislative background. He served as a senior legislative analyst with the Washington Legislature where he focused on higher education, health care, protocol and economic development. Antonio also was a faculty member in the Department of American Ethnic Studies at the UW where he taught Hispanic studies for the past six years.