BILL REQ. #:  Z-1155.1 


State of Washington58th Legislature2004 Regular Session

By Senators Carlson, Kohl-Welles, Schmidt, Berkey and Winsley; by request of Higher Education Coordinating Board

Read first time 01/20/2004.   Referred to Committee on Higher Education.

     WHEREAS, The Higher Education Coordinating Board is required by law to prepare a strategic master plan for higher education every four years; and
     WHEREAS, The Legislature and Governor enacted House Bill No. 2076 during the 2003 legislative session in part to reaffirm and strengthen the board's strategic planning role and to guide development of the 2004 plan; and
     WHEREAS, The bill directs the board to present the 2004 interim strategic master plan to the Legislature and Governor by December 15, 2003; and
     WHEREAS, The Legislature is to conduct public hearings on the interim plan, and, by concurrent resolution, approve or recommend changes to the interim plan; and
     WHEREAS, The board is directed to submit the final plan by June of the year in which the concurrent resolution is enacted; and
     WHEREAS, The bipartisan legislative work group created by House Bill No. 2076 fulfilled its responsibility to define legislative expectations and provide policy direction for the statewide strategic master plan; and
     WHEREAS, The board, in accordance with House Bill No. 2076, developed an interim strategic master plan that proposes a vision and identifies goals and priorities for the higher education system in Washington state and identifies strategies for achieving the board's goals; and
     WHEREAS, The board revised the draft interim plan in response to public testimony during public hearings in November 2003 in Spokane and Seattle and presented the interim plan to the Legislature and Governor as required by the statute;
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the House of Representatives of the state of Washington, the Senate concurring, That the Higher Education Coordinating Board be commended for its work in preparing the 2004 Interim Strategic Master Plan for Higher Education; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature concur in the board's statements of the mission and vision for higher education and support the core values reflected in the interim plan; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature concur in the board's goals for higher education:
     (1) Increase by approximately 20 percent the total number of students who earn college degrees and earn job training credentials in Washington each year; and
     (2) Respond to the state's economic needs; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature endorse the board's strategies to achieve the higher education goals by 2010:
     (1) Increase public college and university enrollment;
     (2) Improve educational efficiency through such means as increasing the number of transfer students; reducing remedial course work among recent high school graduates; reducing the number of students who graduate with excess credits; reducing the number of credits earned by transfer students that do not apply to their degrees; increasing student retention; and working with institutions to identify other efficiencies;
     (3) Promote innovation in service delivery, such as identifying planning and decision-making models that promote regional collaboration and strengthen the two-plus-two system; permitting flexibility in course offerings by community colleges and branch campuses as appropriate to each region; enabling comprehensive institutions to offer more bachelor of applied science degrees; and allowing partnerships of public and private institutions to receive high demand enrollment funding;
     (4) Address higher education budget needs by funding enrollments at the average rates for comparable institutions nationwide; address tuition by permitting colleges to have unrestricted tuition-setting authority for all students; and address financial aid by requiring schools to supplement state grants for low-income students, funding the state need grant to reach board goals, and maintaining the purchasing power of other state financial aid programs;
     (5) Improve higher education's responsiveness to the state's economic needs by creating an ongoing program to identify high demand fields and recognize higher instructional costs; using an incentive-based approach to dedicate a portion of all new enrollments for high demand programs; increasing state research funding; supporting the two-year college system's strategies to increase student success in job training and basic skills programs; and developing a new financial aid program to support adults who work full time and go to college part time; and
     (6) Improve K-12/higher education linkages to promote student success in college by expanding access to dual-credit programs; increasing the number of K-12 students who complete a rigorous high school curriculum; improving communication to students, families, and schools of what students must know and do to be considered ready for college; and revising current state minimum college admission requirements to ensure college-bound students are encouraged to take the courses they need to prepare for college-level work; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature concur with the board's recommendation that the state should review governance options and consider consolidating the higher education functions performed by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and the Work Force Training and Education Coordinating Board into one state governing board; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That in the final 2004 strategic master plan, the board shall articulate options for state action and shall provide guidance to the institutions of higher education for carrying out the strategies, and shall provide measurable performance indicators and benchmarks to gauge progress toward achieving the statewide goals of the strategic master plan for higher education; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the board shall develop cost projections to guide the state and the institutions of higher education in developing operating and capital budget proposals for the 2005-07 biennium and future biennia, and that the board will evaluate and report to the Legislature and Governor on whether the higher education institutions' 2005-07 operating and capital budget proposals align with or implement the statewide strategic master plan; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Higher Education Coordinating Board work with the public higher education institutions to ensure that their strategic plans are aligned with and promote the implementation of the statewide strategic master plan.

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