Higher Ed in Kitsap in Governor’s Good Graces

In Olympia Kitsap-based legislators reacted quickly to Andrew Binion’s story about Gov. Chris Gregoire’s response on higher ed to a Bremerton city councilman.

In the letter, dated Feb. 27, Gregoire said her budget request did not include the money partly because of a plan to build a branch campus of the University of Washington in Snohomish County.

“Significantly expanding higher education into other areas of the state at the same time would unwisely stretch the resources of both operating and capital budgets,” Gregoire said in the letter, which was signed in ink and included the handwritten note: “Let’s visit this issue in 2009!”

Several legislators penned a letter to Gregoire trying to clear up any connection between the $212,000 Kitsap effort and the billion-dollar effort to get a UW branch campus in Snohomish county.

“We fear that there was an assumption that we were setting a course for a branch campus for our area and that is not the case.”

The letter clarified that the Kitsap effort is designed meet employers and students’ needs, establishing a “university center” concept. This year’s money would continue a study already begun locally.

The governor responded that she was willing to support the concept.

Legislators were thrilled when they got the letter. Now it’s a question of whether House leaders will acquiesce to the request, since it didn’t make that chamber’s budget.

3 thoughts on “Higher Ed in Kitsap in Governor’s Good Graces

  1. I have just received word that we have WON! The $212,000 for the study is in the budget that will go to the Governor soon.

    I want to thank everyone who helped, including the Kitsap Sun Editorial Board, Sen. Derek Kilmer and Sen. Phil Rockefeller who went to the Governor to convince her that this was not pork, but something needed by the employers and young men and women of Kitsap. Instead of having to go to Seattle or Pullman or out-of-state to get that Engineering Degree that the Shipyard needs, maybe in a few years they can find them here. This study was an incredibly important step towards making that happen.

    Congrats to all! This is a big WIN for Bremerton and Kitsap!

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