Monday, March 30, 2009


Black Monday

The state senate is revealed it's budget proposal, with the house version expected Tuesday. This is a pretty good indication of what the final numbers will look like. For Eastern, it's 'roughly' a 20 percent cut in what the University typically gets from the state to pay faculty and staff.

Seattle Times

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


World Baseball Classic

Why does the just completed World Baseball Classic and Cheney have a small connection? Read on (and oh yeh, another reason we miss the Seahawks).

Seattle Times

Thursday, March 19, 2009


End For Reid?

From the Spokesman:

March 19, 2009

School days to end for Reid
EWU, Cheney district to close elementary at end of the year
Lisa Leinberger / Staff Writer

An aging building and hard economic times have helped Eastern Washington University and Cheney Public Schools decide to close Robert Reid Elementary School on campus at the end of the school year.

Construction on the school began in 1958 and the school became a place for children in the district to learn, and future teachers as well. Two towers overlook the classrooms where college students or parents can observe, unnoticed by the children in class.

Teachers are available to talk to college students studying not only education, but psychology, social work or any other subject dealing with children.

It’s the last of its kind in the state, and one of only a handful in the entire country.

“It is a unique school,” said Larry Keller, superintendent of Cheney schools.

It is also the only choice school in the district. The 115 students attending Reid come from all over the district. Many parents of the students are either attending EWU or are employed there, and the students attending Reid are chosen on a first-come-first-served basis. Keller said there will be a place for the children in the other district schools.

Reid has been a collaborative effort between the district and university. The district provided the teachers, curriculum, textbooks and computers, while the university provides the building, maintenance and janitors.

But the building’s HVAC system is failing – it would cost around $3.5 million to replace – and the building is aging. Two years ago, the district and the university signed a two-year memorandum of understanding which will expire this year. To renew the contract, the university recently asked the school district for $150,000 a year to keep the building open for another two years. The district has decided that the cost was too high.

David Rey, special assistant to President Rodolfo Arévalo, said the university did a study as to how many of its own students actually use the school as part of their education. They found that only 12 students were using it. He said that the university is not teaching education in a way that uses the school – the university’s students spread out throughout the area to learn to teach.

“There is no special reason why that needs to be done at Reid,” Rey said.

The university is also on the list for receiving state funds for capital projects, with a high need for renovating Patterson Hall, which serves about 1,500 to 2,000 students a day. It’s a $45 million project that will be done in two parts. Since Eastern would be in line for receiving funds for one or two projects, officials wanted to make sure the Patterson project was on the list.

“It’s a very, very high need for us,” Rey said. “We can’t not do Patterson.”

Rey added that the cost of operating the building, including the cost of lights, heating, air conditioning, other utilities and the custodial services was much higher than $150,000.

He also said that it will be sad when Reid closes.

“I’ve seen how motivated people are there,” Rey said.

Shannon Lawson is the administrative coordinator/principal of Reid.

She said the school employs about 25 teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other staff members. It’s a small school where every teacher knows every student’s name.

“Reid really is a special place,” Lawson said. She said that when she considering becoming a student at EWU, the idea of the lab school was part of her decision.

She said she understands that there are parent groups looking for grant money to keep the school open.

“I still have hope,” she said. She has enjoyed the collaborative effort between Reid and the university. The banner across the playground’s fence announces, “Something big starts here,” a play on EWU’s Start Something Big campaign.

Get more news and information at

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Going National

The SaveOurScholarships campaign has gone national. Stories this week by CBS Radio, Westwood One Radio and now the Associated Press have used EWU to tell the story of how college endowments are suffering - and many student scholarships will be in trouble.

Here's the AP story, as picked up by the LA Times.

Monday, March 09, 2009



Recent article from the Spokesman Review:

By Kevin Graman
Staff Writer

Jessica Hay has no illusions about where she would be were it not for the scholarships she receives while attending Eastern Washington University.

“I would be working dead-end job after dead-end job while struggling toward a degree, maybe in 10 or 12 years,” Hay said.

Raised on a ranch in Springdale, Wash., the 19-year-old sophomore aspires to broaden her horizons – perhaps with a career in international business, marketing or advertising.

But now, Hay’s future is in doubt.

The economic downturn that is forcing cuts in every state budget will almost certainly result in an increase in tuition at Washington’s public universities. Even before the recession, tuition has gone up 5 percent each of the past two years.

Worse for students like Hay, university endowments nationwide lost an average of 28 percent of their value in the past six months of 2008.

From July 1 to Dec. 31, the University of Washington endowment dropped about 26 percent, from $2.2 billion to $1.6 billion; Washington State University’s endowment lost 22 percent, from $324.2 million to $252.6 million; and EWU’s dropped about 22 percent, from $12.3 million to $9.6 million.

The losses, which followed smaller declines, will result in less money and fewer scholarships for students next year.

While UW and WSU officials said their scholarships come from various sources and it’s too early to say how they will be affected, EWU officials know exactly how bad it will be for some students.

Without help from donors, scholarships will be cut 80 percent next school year, from about 500 scholarships valued at $500,000 to about 100 valued at $100,000, said Mike Westfall, vice president for advancement and executive director of the EWU Foundation.

“How many dreams will be delayed?” he asked. “How many dreams will be short-circuited completely because of lack of funding?”

Most EWU students represent the first generation of their families to go to college, Westfall said. The No. 1 deterrent to pursuing an academic degree is a lack of money. When students take time off from school to earn wages, they often don’t go back.

So Westfall sat down with other EWU officials to plan a strategy. “We had two choices,” he said, “do nothing or shine a light on this issue and seek much-needed support from alumni and the community.”

The result is an unusual Web-based fundraising drive at All donations will go directly to scholarships, Westfall said. EWU officials hope to raise as much money as possible toward eliminating the $400,000 gap by April 15.

“Without a scholarship, I would not be in college,” said Hay, who receives the Lawrence and Vera Laughbon Scholarship from Eastern. She also gets an academic competitiveness grant from EWU, as well as a Washington Award for Vocational Excellence and an American Legion oratorical award.

She works part time in the university recreation center and is captain of the women’s rugby team. She maintains a 3.7 grade point average. “I want people to realize that kids searching for scholarships are the ones that really need them,” Hay said. “It’s going to kids who really appreciate it.”

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


A Soldier's Story

From Sunday's editorial. The victim was an alum of the EWU MBA program. Sad story.


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