Campaign for a Fully-Funded, Democratically Run UW

UW Regents, Gov. Jay Inslee, and WA State Legislators


Read the full petition below.

Petition by

To: UW Regents, Gov. Jay Inslee, and WA State Legislators
From: [Your Name]

The state revenue crisis and a corporatized Board of Regents have led the University of Washington to behave more like a private corporation than a flagship public university.

The evidence is clear:
• State funding for UW collapsed by 45% from 2008-2012 and has only recently started to recover.
• Meanwhile, undergraduate tuition has skyrocketed, rising by $4,000 between 2009 -2012. Half of UW students graduate with student debt.
• Diversity at the UW does not reflect the surrounding community. Only 3% of undergraduate students, and only 2% of full-time faculty, are African American.
• Thousands of UW and UW Medicine faculty and staff earn less than market rate, in some cases less than $15/hour. 70% of faculty are either non-tenure-track or have to raise the funds to cover their own salaries.
• Insufficient staffing imperils quality patient care and maintenance of our University.
• The UW relies on growing bond debt and corporate partnerships to replace collapsing state funding. Nearly 10% of a given student’s annual undergraduate tuition goes towards paying this debt.
• UW’s corporatized Board of Regents operates behind closed doors, and often prioritizes corporate interests over those of our University. The corporations they represent spent huge sums to defeat a 2010 progressive tax initiative that would have helped restore state funding for higher education.

We need a UW leadership that is clearly committed to a fully-funded, democratically-run University.
1) To the UW Regents: We need an open and inclusive process to select the next UW President, who will rally the UW community in defense of its proud history as a public university.

2) To Governor Jay Inslee: We need an open and inclusive process for appointing UW Regents who fully support the interests of the University, and are not compromised by their links to huge corporations. In particular, we note the expiring terms of several UW Regents:
• Orin Smith (ex-Starbuck CEO), term expires on 9/30/15
• Joanne Harrell (Microsoft), term expires on 9/30/15
• William Ayer (ex-Alaska Airlines CEO), term expires on 9/30/16
• Patrick Shanahan (Senior VP at Boeing), term expires on 9/30/16

3) To State Legislators: UW employee wage increases and union contracts need to be funded, and new, progressive revenue raised to roll back student tuition increases and fund student financial aid.

The University of Washington is a huge public good for Washington State residents. We will not allow it to be privatized, corporatized and accessible only to the privileged few!