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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.

Our office serves as 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.

2018 Legislative Priorities

CWU is now developing legislative budget and policy priorities for 2019, including the following program enhancements:

• Teacher Shortage — The State of Washington is currently experiencing a severe teacher shortage, especially in rural areas and in particular endorsement areas. CWU has the oldest and largest undergraduate teacher preparation program in the state and has offered strategies that increase the number of teachers we certify as well as channel them towards where the need is. During the 2017-19 budget process, CWU submitted a comprehensive package of 10 strategies and for 2018 has proposed three additional strategies that include: recruitment; alternative route expansion; and a computer science endorsement. These strategies all focus on serving under-represented communities and the neediest school districts.

• Cybersecurity — Washington state businesses are well aware of recent reports of cybersecurity lapses and data breaches. CWU seeks to significantly increase the number of job-ready cybersecurity graduates to meet the ever-increasing industry demands for specialized business and computer cybersecurity experts. The Information Technology and Administrative Management (ITAM) program is the only cybersecurity program in the state that effectively and directly includes the technical rigor of computer science with the teaching content in business management practices. CWU’s distributed learning strategies include university centers co-located with six community colleges and at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), online programs, and new learning center in Sammamish.  CWU is positioned to reach students all over Washington state with its ITAM’s cybersecurity education programs.

• Game On! — Central Washington University has developed a very unique partnership with Microsoft and Spain’s Real Madrid Soccer Foundation to provide STEM and leadership training to under-served students in central Washington. CWU successfully piloted the program in the spring quarter of 2016 and is now serving nearly 250 girls and boys in middle-and high-school in the Yakima area. Students in the CWU Game On! Program, the majority of whom are Hispanic, are given the opportunity learn and practice computer coding under the tutelage of Microsoft as well as participate in hands on leadership, nutrition and soccer training with Real Madrid trainers. The budget request would enable the partnership to double the number of students participating.

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, Steve, and Antonio will be happy to track down any additional information you may require.


Meet Our Legislative Team

Chief of Staff, Linda Schactler: 509-963-1384; (M) 509-607-4103;

Linda coordinates governmental relations as well as works on the priorities of the Office of the President; and she is secretary to the Board of Trustees. 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 worked in commercial radio and television as news reporter, producer and announcer. Ms. Schactler ran her own Olympia-based public affairs firm for a decade, providing crisis- and issue-management services for a variety of clients. 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, Steve DuPont: (M) 509-201-0528; 

Steve 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 an MEd in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas.  

Director of Intergovernmental and International Relations, Antonio Sanchez: (during interim) 509-963-3847, (M) 206 383-6980, 

​Antonio the CWU 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 six years.

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