SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Higher Education, March 28, 2017
Title: An act relating to eliminating the term "branch" as an identifying factor for extensions of the public institutions of higher education.
Brief Description: Eliminating the term "branch" as an identifying factor for extensions of the public institutions of higher education.
Sponsors: Representatives Haler, Wylie, Riccelli, Shea, Stanford, Robinson, Fey, Tarleton and Pollet.
Brief History: Passed House: 2/01/17, 91-6.
Committee Activity: Higher Education: 3/16/17, 3/28/17 [DP].
Brief Summary of Bill
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Wilson, Chair; Bailey, Vice Chair; Palumbo, Ranking Minority Member; Frockt.
Staff: Evan Klein (786-7483)
Background: In 1989, the Legislature authorized the creation of five branch campuses to be operated by the state's two public research universities, the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU), to serve citizens residing in major metropolitan areas. Originally, the branch campuses had two missions: (1) increase access to higher education by focusing on upper division and graduate programs, target place-bound students, and operate as a two-plus-two educational system in cooperation with the community and technical colleges; and (2) promote regional development by responding to demand for degrees from local businesses and support regional economies through research activities. The two-plus-two educational system means the branch campuses have articulation agreements and dual admissions policies with the local community and technical colleges to support transfer students. Since 2006 and 2007, the branch campuses have been allowed to offer lower division courses and admit first-year students and sophomores.
The five branch campuses include the UW-Tacoma, UW-Bothell, WSU-Tri-Cities, WSU-Vancouver, and WSU-Spokane.
Summary of Bill: The term branch is struck from all statutes referencing the satellite campuses of the state's public institutions of higher education.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill comes at the request of WSU and UW. There is a growth of the student populations at these branch campuses to the point that they could operate as stand-alone universities. This bill does not separate the campuses from their main universities, but merely removes the term branch from their name. WSU and UW have already removed the use of the term branch in practice, and this bill merely codifies that practice. This bill does not change the governance structure of the institutions in any way.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Larry Haler, Prime Sponsor; JoAnn Taricani, University of Washington Faculty Senate; Chris Mulick, WSU.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.