The time for action has come.
That’s the message being delivered by UW Impact, a nonprofit group of alumni that is mobilizing University of Washington graduates in a time of fiscal uncertainty for the UW and higher education in Washington state. The group, organized by volunteer board members of the independent UW Alumni Association, announced at a Dec. 22 news conference that it has hired political consultants Chris Vance (R) and Christian Sinderman (D). Neither are UW alums.
“We feel like if we don’t act now to create a public movement in support of the UW and higher education, tomorrow may be too late,” UW Alumni Association President Colleen Fukui-Sketchley told the Seattle Times in a front-page story that ran today.
The state’s budget woes have forced significant cuts to the UW’s state funding the past two years, and with tuition increasing by double digits each year the university reached a point where—for the first time—tuition brings in more money than state support. That’s a hard line for a public research institution to walk, and the UW Impact group is looking to raise awareness and empower alumni across the state.
For more on UW Impact and the budget issues facing UW:
- UW Impact home page
- Seattle Times front-page story: New UW alumni group wants louder voice in Olympia
- Seattle Times editorial: Recruiting alumni to champion UW
- KING 5-TV (video): For public higher education in Washington state, it’s lower state support
- Seattlepi.com: UW alumni to be mobilized for budget battles
- The Daily: UW Impact plans to mobilize alumni in lobby efforts
- The Olympian: UW alumni group wants more say in Olympia
- The Oregonian: In a trend, UW moves to play in the Lobby Bowl
- League of Education Voters: Good timing for new UW advocacy group