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.