Board of Trustees recap for Oct. 7 and 8, 2010

Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion.

WWU Trustees approve additional 2010-11 operating budget reductions for submission to the state

The Western Washington University Board of Trustees on Friday, Oct. 8 approved the submission of a supplemental 2010-11 operating budget request to the state Office of Financial Management that reflects a $3.04 million reduction.

President Bruce Shepard said that the current WWU budget process has helped the university make difficult but responsible decisions in the wake of the latest state budget cut, a 6.3 percent reduction ordered by the Governor.

For some weeks, Western has been preparing to respond to the need to make further cuts this fiscal year, heeding the Governor’s direction to do so by finding new ways to do business while protecting mission critical functions.

This latest state-mandated cut to the university’s budget – the third during the 2010-11 fiscal year – brings to more than $17 million the amount trimmed so far from the current WWU fiscal year operating budget.

Shepard noted that, while protecting academic quality is a core tenet of the budget process, the deep level of state cuts occurring has resulted in cuts to high-quality Western programs, such as the Border Policy Research Institute and Canadian American Studies.

The outcome of the latest budget process “reflects the best thinking of the university. It does not make this less painful,” Shepard said.

The president also said that due to responses and feedback from the campus community that the university will be looking at possible alternatives to moving the music library to Wilson Library. And he also cautioned the trustees that further changes to the current fiscal year budget could result once the legislature meets again starting early next year.

For more information on the budget submission please see Operating Budget Reductions or visit the Office of University Planning and Budgeting website.

In other action:

  • The trustees held a moment of silence for Dwight Clark, a WWU student who recently died.
  • Recognized faculty, classified and team award recipients. For a full description please see WWU Honors Faculty and Staff for Excellence in Teaching, Research, Service, Diversity and ‘Bridging.”
  • Heard a presentation by Vehicle Research Institute Director Eric Leonhardt on the recent outstanding accomplishments in the X Prize competition. A WWU X Prize Team Day, attended by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike, was held on the PAC Plaza on Friday. For more information please see Friday, Oct. 8 named Viking 45 Day in Bellingham.
  • Met with State Reps. Kelli Linville, Doug Ericksen, Reuven Carlyle and Mike Sells to discuss issues affecting higher education in the state.
  • Met with the University Planning and Resource Council (UPRC) on updating Western’s Strategic Plan.
  • Heard a presentation by WWU students Alyson Simeone and Emmett Codd on activities at Western to support sustainable practices relative to campus dining. Western has joined the Real Food Challenge, which involves 344 colleges and universities with the goal to purchase 20 percent “real food” by 2020. For more information please see Real Food Challenge.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 12:35pm