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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Washington Legislature could saw “branch” off WSU-Spokane campus designation

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.”

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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