Improving higher education in Washington

September 23, 2013 Posted by Letters Coordinator

We must do more

Regarding Katherine Long’s article on in-state students and top faculty at the University of Washington, and The Times editorial on improving the UW, we absolutely agree! [“Report wants UW to step up role as ‘engine for economic growth,’” NW Thursday, Sept. 12, and “Editorial: Good ideas to make the UW a stronger powerhouse,” Opinion, Sept. 18.]

Higher education is the key to Washington’s future. We applaud this broad plan addressing research, state funding to sustain education quality, financial aid, family contributions and philanthropy.

We agree Washington must do more. Clearly the UW is central to that, but it does not do this work alone. Higher education in our state is a system, and must be dealt with as one.

For Washington to have the future we all want, we also need strong community and technical colleges, other quality public baccalaureates and independent colleges. We need every college in the state fully recognized, supported and empowered.

We need to provide incentives for innovation and enrollment growth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and fund programs in critical thinking and communication.

We must fully fund financial aid to make sure the doors to a higher education remain open for all Washingtonians. The Independent Colleges of Washington stands ready as a partner in this endeavor.

Tom Fitzsimmons, board member of the Independent Colleges of Washington, Tumwater