According to President Stephen M. Jordan, Eastern Washington University needs to cut at least $5.6 million from the budget over the next biennium.
Jordan and other administration officials are closely watching bills dealing with higher education. These include House Bill 1997, 1808 and 1053. These bills deal with increased tutition for excess credits, the possibility of offering an electrical engineering degree at regional universities, and enhancing government accountability through performance audits.
Jordan is adamant about making lawmakers in Olympia see why higher education needs more funding.
“We need to become a state assisted university or we’re going to become a damn poor state university,” said Jordan.
Departments across the university are going to have to slash their budgets to meet the cuts. For example, Academic Affairs will have to cut $1.9 million from their operating budget over the next two years. The President’s office will cut around $50,000 and Intercollegiate Athletics is looking at reducing its budget by $90,000.
Eastern students are looking at a nine percent increase in tuition. Jordan says this will create $2.6 million in new revenue. The plan for the new funds is to take $750,000 and put it back into the various departments that have helped with enrollment. The rest of the funds will be available for allocation. Eastern is also looking to raise course fees to help offset department costs.
The university is also looking at reducing the budget by cutting programs like “Success by Six.” This would save EWU $50,000 a year. Jordan says other contributions and programs need be examined to see if they are vital to the university.