18 January 2011

Press Release from the WSU-AAUP



Pullman, WA 

The Washington State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors wishes to highlight a major inconsistency between the grim budget projections provided by Washington State University's administration and the robust financial condition as reported in the university’s audited annual statements. Budgets are plans and projections, but financial statements report the actual financial condition of the university.

The current fiscal crisis has resulted in reduced funding for WSU by the State of Washington. However, as WSU’s audited Financial Report 2009 shows, state funding represents only 27% of the university’s income. The overall annual revenue from all income streams (tuition, grants, etc.) has, in fact, been increasing steadily for the university in recent years.  In addition, the Financial Report 2009 illustrates that WSU has approximately $144 million in reserve funds.   This information comes from the university’s most recent annual financial statements, which can be found at http://www.wsu.edu/genacct/finstat.htm. WSU's solid financial status is also attested to by a December, 2010 bond rating of Aa2 by Moody's (the third highest rating out of 23 potential ratings).  In short, WSU’s current financial condition does not appear to warrant the types of personnel and program cuts being proposed.

The Chapter believes that fiscal discussions and decisions should go beyond budget projections and consider the whole financial status of the university.  Budgets represent only part of the financial picture.  Financial statements report the actual fiscal condition of the university.  It's time to focus the fiscal discussion to consider WSU’s more complete financial state as the central administration makes plans to realign units, terminate employees, and impact students as a result of lower state funding.  This broader conversation, involving more representation from the wider university community, is vital to maintaining and growing the university’s instructional quality and educational opportunities for students of Washington State. 

Rich Alldredge
WSU-AAUP Member and Past President

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