Western Washington University
The executive director of a food and agriculture initiative will be the commencement speaker at Western Washington University’s summer graduation ceremony Saturday, Aug. 18.
About 450 undergraduates and 75 master’s candidates will receive degrees this quarter.
Deborah Atwood, head of AGree: Transforming Food and Agriculture Policy, also is an alumna of Huxley College of the Environment and Western’s Campus School.
Heidi Grant Murphy, a Western alumna and renowned opera singer, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts and sing the national anthem at Western’s summer commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. in Carver Gym.
Graduating senior Amanjeet Sahota, a political science major from Bellingham, will give the student commencement address.
No tickets are required for those attending commencement. Seating will be first come, first served.
People also may watch a live feed of the televised ceremony in lecture halls in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) building. The halls are on the bottom floor, near the main entrance.
The ceremony also will be streamed live at www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1.
Western Washington University has landed on Forbes Magazine’s annual list of the top colleges in the U.S.
Forbes ranked Western 353rd overall — out of 650 — on its list of the best undergraduate institutions based on post-graduate success, student satisfaction, student debt load, four-year graduation rate, and competitive awards.
The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, based in Washington, D.C., compiled the rankings for Forbes.
The magazine notes that its rankings “focus on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates and low-levels of debt.”
Western ranked second among public universities in the state of Washington, after the University of Washington (87th) and before Washington State University (464th).
Western officials also pointed out that their university was ranked ahead of a number of major colleges and universities, including Rutgers, Seton Hall, Temple, Purdue and Oregon State.
Read more about the rankings and see the entire list by clicking here.
In case you missed it, here’s a story about Western Washington University’s connection to the Mars landing of the rover Curiosity the night of Sunday, Aug. 5.
If you missed the panels about key issues facing Washington state that were put on in June by Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute, you can catch them on TVW this month.
The broadcast times and topics are:
- Monday, July 16: ”Budgeting in Challenging Times,” noon; ”Political Influence: Inside the Process,” 8:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 17: “Higher Education: Legislative Challenges” at 7:30 p.m. ; Rob McKenna on higher education issues at 9:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 18: ”Political Influence: Inside the Process” at noon; ”Initiatives and Referenda: Good for Washington?” at 8:30 p.m.
- Thursday, July 19: “Political Reporting: A Challenging Landscape” at noon; ”Budgeting in Challenging Times” at 8 p.m.
- Friday, July 20: “Lobbying: Influence and Access” at noon; “Political Reporting: A Challenging Landscape” at 7 p.m.
Or watch them any time on TVW’s website by entering “Munro” in the page’s search window.
TVW is Washington state’s public TV network.
Western Washington University Board of Trustees has sent letters to alumni explaining the reasoning behind pay raises that members approved for faculty. Those salary increases raised the ire of Gov. Chris Gregoire last week.
The letter is below.
Gov. Chris Gregoire has chastised Western Washington University for giving “significant salary increases” to faculty during a poor economy while students faced tuition hikes of 16 percent.
“In the worst economic times in 80 years, I am surprised that Western has entered into a collective bargaining agreement that provides for a salary increase of 5.25 percent effective in 2012-13, a 4.25 percent salary increase each year during the 2013-15 biennium, a 10 percent increase for faculty and instructors who are promoted, and an additional 15 percent increase in stipends for department chairs,” Gregoire wrote in the letter that WWU President Bruce Shepard received on Monday, July 2.
The new three-year contract with United Faculty of Western Washington, which was approved by Western’s board of trustees, goes into effect Sept. 16.
Click here to read the rest of the story.
Click here to read Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard’s response to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s letter, in which she expressed concern about faculty salary increases that begin in September.
Among the points, Shepard takes on Gregoire’s statements about salary increases in light of tuition hikes, noting that the state has cut funding to Western by half:
Is this about tuition versus faculty salaries?
Any effort to cast it as such strikes me as the most pernicious of the rhetorical hyperbole I have heard in recent days.
Anybody who understands anything about public higher education finance in Washington knows that state support has been cut in half, now constituting 14% of our overall budget. Tuition pays for 70% of the costs of instruction (direct instruction as well as most everything else: heating the buildings, police and safety, student support services like advising, and so on). So, as a result of the state’s dramatic disinvestment in public baccalaureate education, whatever we choose to do is being paid for, largely, by tuition: utilities, libraries, building maintenance and, yes, faculty salaries.
Key issues facing Washington state are being explored this month as part of a program put on by Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute.
The panels are free and open to the public. They are on the campus of North Seattle Community College this week, and will be on Western’s campus in Bellingham starting Tuesday, June 26.
Elected officials, public policy experts, political scientists and scholars will be among the panelists.
Below is the list of topics and panelists June 20 and 21 at North Seattle Community College.
All panels will be from 2:15 to 4 p.m. at Room 1520 in the Arts and Sciences Building.
Park in the North Visitors’ parking lot; public parking is free and no parking passes are needed.
- Wednesday, June 20: “Higher Education: Legislative Challenges.” Panel with moderator Kelly Evans, public affairs and political consultant; state Reps. Reuven Carlyle, Hans Zeiger and Larry Seaquist; and state Sens. David Frockt and Steve Litzow.
- Thursday, June 21: “Initiatives and Referenda: Good for Washington State?” Panel with moderator Paul Dunn, senior executive assistant in the President’s Office at Western; Seattle Times journalist Joni Balter; political activist Tim Eyman; state Rep. Chris Reykdal; and Alison Holcomb, campaign director for Yes on I-502, a measure that legalize marijuana.
Below is the list of topics and panelists June 26 to 28 at Western.
All panels will be from 2:15 to 4 p.m. at Old Main 340, the Board of Trustees meeting room.
- Tuesday, June 26: “Political Influence: Inside the Process.” Panel with moderator Todd Donovan, professor of political science at Western; political strategist Ron Dotzauer; political strategist Terry Thompson; and Alex Hays, executive director of Mainstream Republicans of Washington.
- Wednesday, June 27: “Political Reporting: a Challenging Landscape.” Keynote address by WWU President Bruce Shepard. Panel with moderator David Ammons, former Associated Press capital reporter and current communications director for the Washington Secretary of State; Seattle PI.com columnist Joel Connelly; Austin Jenkins, Olympia reporter for public radio and host for TVW’s weekly public affairs program “Inside Olympia”; and Peter Callaghan, columnist for The News Tribune in Tacoma.
- Thursday, June 28: “Lobbying: Influence and Access.” Panel with moderator Cole Taratoot, visiting assistant professor of sociology at Western; contract lobbyist Charlie Brown; Wendy Rader-Konofalski, with the Washington Education Association; and Amber Carter, with the Association of Washington Business.
Drivers should stop by Parking Services at the Visitor Center and get a pass, or pay at the meters in lot 7G, which is the lot closest to Old Main.
Beginning this fall, Western Washington University will offer its first online-only master’s degree.
The master of education in continuing and college education will prepare graduate students and educational professionals to teach, train and administer educational programs for adults in colleges and universities, businesses, social services, nonprofits, government and the community, according to a Western news release.
Because the courses through Western’s Woodring College of Education will be completely online, they will be available to graduate students across the country.
Known as the Continuing and College Education – Distance Learning (CCE-DL), the program begins Sept. 26. Applications will be accepted June 1 to Aug. 1.
The entire news release from Western is below.
In case you missed it, click here to read the story about a Western Washington University alum and his family donating $1 million to help build a multi-purpose, turf athletic field on the Bellingham campus.