President Thomas has co-authored an op-ed on the current budgetary issues facing Washington state and its effect on higher education. Excerpt:
That brings us to the state budget, which analysts now predict will be $2.6 billion out of balance by the end of the biennium in the middle of 2011. Some are already drawing a target — again — on higher-education funding. They say that their hands are tied, and look to colleges for reductions because investing in higher education is not constitutionally mandated.
Further cuts to higher education would be a huge mistake.
Colleges are already working with limited resources; additional cuts in operating support would make it increasingly difficult to offer the classes and support services students need. Slashing financial aid would force many students out of college and dash their best hope for getting the skills and knowledge they need to improve their lives and climb the economic ladder.
Read the whole thing here.