Dear Campus Community:
Early last month, representatives from across campus came together to discuss trends disrupting higher education at a national and regional level—and how those trends impact us here at Eastern. From changing student demographics and competitive degree offerings to tuition and funding policy, EWU is facing challenges in a rapidly changing environment.
These changes impact our student recruitment, retention and persistence, and our financial position.
The information shared at the meeting last month is being presented to other groups, including most recently at the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate. Since the insights and takeaways from the presentation are critical to understanding our current environment, the presenters are continuing to meet with campus departments and units.
We have also allocated time for the campus community to attend presentations and ask questions in open forums: these have been scheduled for Friday, March 15 (3-4 p.m. in SEWC 122 in Spokane) and Monday, March 18 (3:30-4:30 p.m. in Showalter 109, in Cheney).
Also, Academic Affairs staff, including Provost Gordon, have scheduled March meetings with faculty and departments on budget questions and recommendations, as well as to better understand college restructuring concerns and aspirations for the future. Those faculty and departments who are interested in meeting in April with Provost Gordon and his team are invited to contact Lynn Harty (email@example.com) for scheduling options.
One factor, aside from enrollment, that impacts our budget is the level of state funding we receive. Our Government Affairs team is closely tracking legislation moving through Olympia that may impact us—both negatively and positively. Early indications are encouraging on the House budget that is set to be released later in March. But it will take a lot of work to move that forward and will not be enough to address all of our budget issues.
As we continue to move through the budget process, groups across campus are gathering to discuss opportunities to make an impact. We encourage you to submit your feedback via the University Budget Committee (UBC) website or the Academic Affairs Budget Efficiencies website. UBC budget hearings will be held March 20-25, with recommendations forwarded on to university leadership.
Together, we will position Eastern to continue moving forward, strong and successful, into the future. Thank you for your continued support.
Mary Cullinan, President