Establishing the Governor's Higher Education Task Force

WHEREAS, in the last decade, Washington State's higher education funding has not increased at the rate needed to keep pace with demand for access to higher education and the enrollment goals set by the Higher Education Coordinating Board have been adopted but never funded; and

WHEREAS, the state will need to provide higher educational opportunities for at least 50,000 more citizens over the next 15 years just to keep postsecondary educational opportunities equal to population growth; and

WHEREAS, past state general fund reductions to public higher education have required cuts to program offerings and restricted opportunities to begin new and innovative service delivery methods; and

WHEREAS, there is a need for improved performance measures for higher education institutions that receive state funding; and

WHEREAS, limits imposed by initiative 601 and the estimated increases in the statutorially required state services of K-12, corrections, and some social service programs make it clear that a new funding system and service delivery innovations are needed to prevent an erosion of postsecondary education opportunities and financial support;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby establish the Governor's Higher Education Task Force.

1. The Task Force is charged with the responsibility to review the current higher education system and 'to propose a new financing system and accountability measures that establish the state's commitment to efficient, effective, and innovative institutions through the year 2010. 'Me Task Force shall identify and propose:

A. Effective and innovative uses of resources that preserve an efficient, stable, and strong public higher education system with institutional accountability to the Governor, legislature, students, business, and citizens of the state;

B. Long term policies for establishing student tuition rates, state financial aid, program quality levels, and state funded student enrollments; and

C. Higher education and training needs necessary for effective and successful participation in the global economy of the 21st Century by Washington State citizens.

2. The Governor shall appoint the members of the Task Force which shall include members of the legislature, the Director of the Office of Financial Management, business, labor, higher education institutions, the Higher Education Coordinating Board, and.the Commission on Student Learning.

3. The Task Force budget and staff shall be provided by the Office of Financial Management

4. Task Force members will be reimbursed for expenses according to RCW 43.03.050.

5. The Task Force chair shall be appointed by the Governor.

6. The Task Force chair will establish committees as may be necessary to carry out the work of the Task Force. The chair shall also designate a vice chair and provide for the recording of activities and actions taken by the Task Force.

7. The Task Force shall appoint advisory groups to assist the Task Force.

8. The Task Force shall:

A. Issue a report to the Governor and the legislature by July 31, 1996 recommending actions needed to effectively implement long range funding and accountability needs of our state's higher education system;

B. Draft the needed legislation and specify other actions that should be taken to implement the recommendations of the Task Force; and

C. Coordinate its work with the Higher Education Coordinating Board Master Plan and other education development activities currently taking place in the state of Washington.

9. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and terminate one day after the 1997 legislative session.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
24th day of July A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-five.

Mike Lowry
Governor of Washington


Secretary of State