Move-in day for students as WWU plans for drastic cuts



Posted on September 18, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 18 at 5:57 PM

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- College life will be busy for Liv Mothershead. She’s moving into her new dorm room at Edens Hall during “Move-in Weekend” at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

“I’m excited!” she says. “It’ll be tight. Me and my roommates have a lot of stuff.”       

Mothershead is a sophomore majoring in education while working on a minor in German.      

But she and 2,700 other students are moving into a new environment filled with deep budget cuts this year.

Cuts to the state budget announced this week by the Governor Gregoire mean the university is finding ways to slash $3.05 million from this year’s budget. Those new cuts come on the heels of prior reductions in state support totaling more than $50 million to Western this biennium. That is a 34 percent reduction in state support.

“The priority is to make reductions where we can, but still preserving our quality education,” says Steve Swan, Vice President of University Relations at WWU.

That means eliminating majors and university programs that some freshman were hoping for.  Students who have already started classes to obtain majors that will be cut, will be allowed to finish their degree.

These are the preliminary cuts the university is preparing for:

•Following campus procedures, 14 academic programs for which program admission is currently suspended because of falling demand will be now proposed for elimination. Because of falling demand, 12 others are being considered for suspension or elimination.  All currently admitted or enrolled students will be served.

•Further restricting admissions to winter and spring quarters; the magnitude of the restrictions depend upon careful analysis of fall term student retention rates, class availability, and student mix.

•Reducing the award of new tuition waivers for winter and spring quarters by $250,000.  Tuition waivers are a form of financial aid.  Current students with such awards are not affected.

•Consolidating support services through partnerships with other entities.

•Actively reviewing other academic, administrative, and student support services to achieve further savings through consolidation, partnerships, or centralization.

School starts for Western Washington Students on Wednesday, Sept. 22.