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WSU-Spokane would lose “branch” from its campus description under proposal before Washington Senate

Thu., March 16, 2017, 5:27 p.m.

An aerial view of Washington State University Spokane in January. (Jesse Tinsley)
An aerial view of Washington State University Spokane in January. (Jesse Tinsley)

OLYMPIA – WSU-Spokane would cease being a branch campus under a bill being considered by the Senate. Like four other outposts of the state’s two research universities, it would just be a campus.

The state started using the term “branch” campus in 1989 when it began allowing Washington State University and the University of Washington to offer programs away from their main facilities in Pullman and Seattle. WSU also has campuses in the Tri-Cities and Vancouver. UW has campuses in Tacoma and Bothell.

But all use university faculty and offer full degree programs. Some have dormitories. The universities have stopped using the term branch and the law would merely codify that practice, Chris Mulick, a lobbyist for WSU, told the Senate Higher Education Committee as it considered a bill that passed the House more than a month ago on an 91-6 vote.

“In the sense that the term branch suggests something less than the whole, we’re happy to do away with this,” Mulick said. “No one’s getting a football team.”



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