Faculty Senator Says WSU Needs “Autonomous Athletics Department” – The Daily Evergreen
WSU Athletics owes around $ 120 million in internal loans; try to fight against the increase in annual debt from 8 to 10 million dollars
Faculty Senate member urged GPSA Senate to contact WSU student regent to oppose proposal to divert $ 2-3 million per year of unrestricted funds to tackle the debt crisis of WSU Athletics at a meeting Monday.
Von Walden, professor and member of the faculty’s Senate, said WSU Athletics struggled to pay debts attributed to improvements to the stadium and facilities in the football program for about a decade. WSU Athletics has taken out numerous “internal loans” from other university departments in an attempt to tackle growing annual debt of $ 8 million to $ 10 million.
WSU Athletics now owes around $ 120 million in internal loans on top of its other loan, which the department will not repay until 2039. He said WSU administrators hope the $ 2-3 million in embezzled funds will help. WSU Athletics to repay its loan, but the money is not used to repay other university departments for internal loans.
“We support an autonomous athletics department,” said Walden.
The Faculty’s Senate voted 48-3 in favor of presenting their statement of opposition to the Council of Regents, he said.
“The current funding proposal will reduce resources for the university’s non-athletics land grant mission,” Walden said. “It’s teaching, research and awareness.
Walden said the Faculty Senate does not disapprove of an athletics department; they only oppose the use of funds. Many people in the WSU community have made it clear that they are tired of administrators allocating funds to athletics rather than other departments related to education or research.
The majority of WSU faculty and students have no say in the board’s proposal to embezzle funds. Walden said GPSA and ASWSU members should contact student regent Arliegh Cayanan to advocate for opposition to the proposal.
Laura Lockard, WSU Director of Public Affairs for External Affairs and Government Relations, spoke to the GPSA Senate about how the WSU Impact website facilitates legislative advocacy for the community.
WSU created Impact about 10 years ago to expand accessibility to education. Lockard said the website now focuses on the current biennial legislative session in Olympia. The staff work hard to keep the WSU community engaged.
Lockard said there is a resource on the website that makes it easy to connect with lawmakers in Washington. An action button on the website allows users to subscribe to the Impact newsletter and find information on legislators.