With free speech eroding, UW stood strong through Yiannopoulos controversy

We’ve seen it on campus after campus across the country, as controversial speakers (and even plenty that aren’t that controversial) are disinvited, shouted down, or threatened to stay away. We’ve seen it in aggressive protestors who see no irony in declaring a speech they disagree with “assault,” then turn around and call it “free speech” […]

GOP “annoyed” at Inslee’s tuition claims? GOP right about Inslee’s tuition claims

Before we get down to the heart of the matter, I’d like to take up this headline a moment: “GOP annoyed Gov. Inslee is taking credit for college-tuition cuts.” You’d really have to work at it (and headline writing is an art) to more clearly convey the idea, “Mere partisan squabble, don’t bother reading.” It […]

One college is telling new students: don’t expect any “trigger warnings” or “safe spaces”

At a time when free speech has been under attack on our college campuses in so many ways, one university is telling incoming freshmen that it won’t be following down the same path. That the school is where I earned my law degree, the University of Chicago, just makes the story that much better. This […]

New WSU pres calls for spending sanity

You hear terms like “fiscal sanity” and “responsible budgeting” bandied about in government. Unfortunately you’re a lot more likely to hear it from critics and candidates than agency heads and bureaucrats. The focus from those spending the money tends to be on growing their budget, getting a bigger share of the revenue pie, and expanding […]

Free community college is a “want,” not a “need”

I am a consistent supporter and cheerleader of our state’s higher education system. Our universities, technical schools, and community colleges are vital to Washington’s economic vitality. I’m so glad that after decades of declining investment, we’ve finally reversed that trend (thanks, Senate Republicans). Still, proposals for further supporting higher ed must be put in context […]

2015 session: Took too long, pretty good results, one huge issue remains

At the end of the day – 176 days, actually – Washington’s legislature ended up having a pretty solid and productive session this year. May we never see its like again. From a policy perspective, we’d be fortunate to have many more years like this one. From a governance perspective? Not so much. The issues […]

It’s obvious who actually cares about higher ed in Olympia

Key legislators are insisting that a budget deal will be sealed before large portions of state government must shut down. Some legislative leaders and members, however, seem determined to walk right up to the edge of the cliff and take a peek at the abyss. As part of the negotiations, the Republican Senate and Democratic […]

Senate budget: more education funding, no new taxes

The debate over the proper size and scope of state government is, for all practical purposes, endless. When partisan control of the legislature is split, as it is now, that debate takes on a renewed urgency. Yet every two years legislators forge a go-home compromise, sometimes after a special session or two. Then they adjourn, […]

Don’t balance the state budget by cutting universities and colleges

If you’ve followed Smarter Government Washington, you know our position on higher education is clear: cutting higher ed budgets hurts students and their families and harms our economic future. After years of watching state government slash state support for universities and community colleges, we cannot tolerate further cuts to our state’s economic engines. In the […]

In future, we’ll need an even more educated workforce; let’s support higher ed today

A few things in life are givens, death and taxes being the most famous two. Here’s another given: The good jobs of tomorrow aren’t going to require less education. That seems pretty obvious, but it’s worth pointing out that individual investments in education are still highly likely to lead to a higher standard of living. […]