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UW medical school in Spokane won’t get bigger classes

UPDATED: Wed., July 12, 2017

University of Washington President Ana Marie Cauce, left, shows off her Gonzaga pen while she and Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh, right, sign the formal agreement after the announcement that Gonzaga University would host UW medical students on campus, starting in the fall of 2016. The announcement was Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 at Gonzaga University. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
University of Washington President Ana Marie Cauce, left, shows off her Gonzaga pen while she and Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh, right, sign the formal agreement after the announcement that Gonzaga University would host UW medical students on campus, starting in the fall of 2016. The announcement was Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 at Gonzaga University. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

For now, at least, the University of Washington’s medical school in Spokane will have classes of just 60 students.

Through a partnership with Gonzaga University, UW welcomed 60 first-year and 60 second-year medical students in Spokane last fall. Earlier this year it asked the Legislature for $9.3 million to add 20 students per graduating class.

But lawmakers were juggling other expensive obligations, including a court order to invest more in K-12 education, so UW received just $5 million for the biennium, enough to support two more classes of 60 medical students.

“Our long-term goal is to get to 80 students,” said Ian Goodhew, UW’s government affairs director. “That’s what we’ve been working on for several years.”

Washington State University, which received $10 million for its fledgling medical school in Spokane, also is authorized to serve classes of 60. UW’s medical school served significantly fewer students at WSU Spokane before that partnership splintered several years ago.

Goodhew said UW is satisfied with the amount it received. He said lawmakers recognized “that the partnership with Gonzaga is off to a pretty great start.”

This story was changed on July 12, 2017. A previous version incorrectly stated how many second-year students were admitted into UW’s medical school last fall. The class included 60 students.

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