WSU Spokane branch could become campus


The WSU Spokane branch could join Pullman, Vancouver and Tri-cities as the fourth WSU campus. 

From staff reports

The Washington Senate is considering a bill that would change WSU Spokane’s designation to a campus rather than a branch.

HB 1107 would reflect the university’s practice of dropping the term branch, WSU lobbyist Chris Mulick said to the Senate Higher Education Committee as it considered the bill that had already passed the House with a 91-6 vote.

The term “branch” was first used in 1989 when WSU and UW were allowed to offer programs away from the main campuses. WSU has campuses in Tri-Cities and Vancouver, while UW has campuses in Tacoma and Bothell.

These additional campuses exist because the Higher Education Coordinating Board concluded in 1987 that pre-existing higher education programs did not meet the state’s needs, according to a Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) report published in December 2002.

Another purpose for the campuses was to make higher education more accessible by targeting place-bound students, those who are unable to move due to family or employment, usually older students. More older, part-time and nearby students enrolled at these additional campuses than at the main WSU and UW campuses, according to the report.

Primarily, WSU Spokane served as a graduate school with programs limited to those that Eastern Washington University did not already offer, according to a WSIPP report published in July 2003.

Reporting by Jessica Zhou