It will take nearly a quarter century for Washington State University to completely get out of its current budget deficit. That’s how long it will take WSU to pay off 3 recently competed Pullman campus buildings that were approved without full funding. WSU Vice President for Marketing and Communications Phil Weiler has provided Pullman Radio News with specific project debt numbers. The information was requested in preparation for this week’s exclusive Morning News interview with WSU President Kirk Schulz.
The projects built without full funding were the digital classroom, now called The Spark, the Elson Floyd Cultural Center and the new WSU police station. WSU owes 84 million dollars on The Spark, 25 million on the cultural center and is 11 million dollars in debt on the police station. The university will be spending about 5 million dollars a year, for the next 23 years, to pay off the 120 million dollars in debt.
The unfunded projects were approved by the board of regents at the request of now late President Elson Floyd. President Schulz says those projects are apart of WSU’s total annual 30 million dollar budget shortfall figure. Additional information provided by Weiler shows that WSU is loaning money to the new Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane. The university’s medical school never received funding from the state legislature to pay for start-up costs. Weiler says that the 22 million dollar loan will be repaid over the next 6 years. The shortfall has forced Schulz to eliminate some programs and lay-off employees along with cutting every department’s budget by 2.5%.
You can listen to part 2 of our exclusive interview with WSU President Kirk Schulz on the Morning News Thursday at 6:30 and 8:30 on AM 1150, FM 104.7 and online here http://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/KQQQAM