Topic: higher education
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September 23, 2013 at 6:29 PM
We must do more
Regarding Katherine Long’s article on in-state students and top faculty at the University of Washington, and The Times editorial on improving the UW, we absolutely agree! [“Report wants UW to step up role as ‘engine for economic growth,’” NW Thursday, Sept. 12, and “Editorial: Good ideas to make the UW a stronger powerhouse,” Opinion, Sept. 18.]
Higher education is the key to Washington’s future. We applaud this broad plan addressing research, state funding to sustain education quality, financial aid, family contributions and philanthropy.
We agree Washington must do more. Clearly the UW is central to that, but it does not do this work alone. Higher education in our state is a system, and must be dealt with as one.
For Washington to have the future we all want, we also need strong community and technical colleges, other quality public baccalaureates and independent colleges. We need every college in the state fully recognized, supported and empowered.
We need to provide incentives for innovation and enrollment growth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and fund programs in critical thinking and communication.
We must fully fund financial aid to make sure the doors to a higher education remain open for all Washingtonians. The Independent Colleges of Washington stands ready as a partner in this endeavor.
Tom Fitzsimmons, board member of the Independent Colleges of Washington, Tumwater
September 3, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Grotesque state of affairs
Jerry Brewer stated the simple fact of the matter in his latest column: “The University of Washington spent $280 million to rejuvenate a decaying stadium …” [“Huskies rise up to equal their surroundings,” Sports, Sept. 1.]
I have to ask myself who will rejuvenate a public university that, decade after decade, has been abandoned by the state Legislature; a university that has priced working-class kids out of the best public higher education, that is now pricing middle-class kids out of the same higher education, that furiously hustles out-of-state students?
Public higher education is going down the tubes, but we have the classiest football stadium in the uncivilized world.
If we accept that grotesque state of affairs, we deserve everything we do not get from our elected officials.
Edward Baker, Seattle
June 21, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Close tax loopholes, fund higher education
Let’s stop kicking our children off the ladder of opportunity with tuition increases, inadequate aid levels and doubling of student loan interest rates. Since World War II, higher education has been the path to equal opportunity and good jobs in America. That’s how we created the middle class and gave everyone — rich or poor — a shot at the American dream.
After four years of budget cuts, that dream is becoming a nightmare of high tuition, student loans the size of a home mortgage and a college degree out of reach for middle-class students from Bellingham to Walla Walla.
Even if we avoid a state shutdown on July 1, we still have a long way to go to restoring our higher-education system. Nationwide, state funding for colleges and universities is 23 percent lower than it was in 2008, when the recession hit. UW tuition has nearly doubled in the past five years, now consuming more than one-fifth of an average Washington family’s income. We can’t have a high-tech economy without a higher-education system. This is a job-killer.
We can provide funding for education while making our tax system more fair by closing tax loopholes that can’t show they produce jobs.
Rep. Gerry Pollet, 46th District, Seattle
June 12, 2013 at 4:18 PM
Require U.S. history instead
The UW is not a liberal-arts college and diversity courses should not be a requirement if you are in math, engineering, business, computers, etc. [“UW to require diversity course,” NWMonday, June 10]. This seems to be politically driven by some minority students.
I believe that all students, including minority students, would be better off if they were required to take courses in the U.S. Constitution, the American free-market economy, American history and Western civilization — especially minority students who were not born in the United States. They would be well served by learning about our culture.
Paul Smith, Mercer Island
Embrace diversity everywhere
I appreciated Lornet Turnbull’s reporting on the new diversity requirement for incoming UW undergraduates. It is ironic that the UW is finally coming to this realization while Seattle Public Schools is doing everything in its power to shut down an award-winning diversity curriculum being taught at the Center School and punishing the teacher by transferring him to a middle school [“Seattle Public Schools stumbles on race, teacher Jon Greenberg,” seattletimes.com, June 7].
All of this seems to further the argument that the school district and Superintendent José Banda are either way out of touch or being used to push some other agenda.
Brad Vanderburg, Seattle
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