Governor Chris Gregoire has signed a bill granting Washington’s four-year colleges and universities the authority to set tuition. Tuition was previously set by the Legislature, but higher ed leaders, including WSU President Elson Floyd, convinced lawmakers to cede that authority so institutions could more easily backfill their budgets.
Following the signing of the legislation, the Washington State University Board of Regents overwhelmingly approved a 16 percent tuition increase for most students.
With the decision, resident undergraduate tuition at WSU will rise by $1,294 to $9,374 for the 2011-12 school year, almost double the rate of $4,863 in 2003-04.
The new tuition levels will provide nearly $70 million in additional revenue to the university, but Floyd has said painful reductions will still be necessary. Decisions on what people, programs and services to cut will likely stretch into the fall semester.
Floyd said his administration will work through the summer on budget reduction proposals, and announce them after students return. Public meetings will then be conducted to discuss the proposals. (AP)