Protect Higher Education: The Case of Academic Student Employees
Washington State’s disinvestment in higher education has been well-documented [link to EOI report and College Promise Coalition website] and the threats to the system are significant. Access to higher education for working families is becoming more difficult as tuition and fees skyrocket, and critical staff who make it possible for students to succeed at earning degrees are disappearing. The state’s economic growth is being jeopardized as the higher education system is strained in its ability to provide critical thinking and industry skills necessary for students to compete for jobs.
As high-tuition/high aid policies continue to be debated, Academic Student Employees at UW – an indispensable workforce – have been negatively impacted by increases in tuition and fees. This makes it more difficult for UW to recruit and retain the best and brightest to carry out its research and instructional missions.
This year’s budgetary actions may well be a turning-point in determining the long-term viability of Washington’s higher education system. ASEs are speaking out about how budget cuts and tuition/fee increases affect not only their own livelihood, but the quality of their research and the educational experience at UW for undergraduates. In these pivotal discussions that affect the long-term economic viability of the higher ed system, it’s critical for the entire University community to speak up for properly funding this critical workforce to ensure access and quality at UW.