Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 1/10/08
Federal Dollars at Work at WSU
Later this month, I will be going to Washington, D.C. to discuss our requests for federal funding with our state’s congressional delegation. This visit begins a year-long process that, we hope, will lead to new and continued funding for Washington State University projects across the state.
Recently, our federal relations effort yielded a strong funding package for our university’s budget requests. WSU will receive money toward the construction of an Agricultural Research Service building on our Pullman campus, for nursing education, for agricultural research, for the creation of a center to study ways to combat the spread of methamphetamines and for the education of more women in science, technology, math and engineering.
We greatly appreciate the work of Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Rep. Norm Dicks, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the rest of Washington’s congressional delegation in helping us receive this funding. Without their efforts, this money would not be coming back to our home state.
I recognize that the federal budget process and the use of earmarks for specific budget allocations are controversial. But I also sincerely believe that the projects that we put forward and that received funding serve a broad public interest.
Certainly, our agricultural research has a dramatic impact not just on Washington’s biggest business – agriculture – but also on farms around the region, the state and the world. That research long has been a product of the close cooperation between researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and WSU faculty members. When it is fully funded, the new ARS building will spur collaborative research that will have an impact far beyond our state’s borders.
Similarly, the funding for methamphetamine research, for nursing education, for the education of more women in math and science are smart investments in the proven expertise of WSU faculty and staff in addressing issues that are important here in Washington and nationwide as well.
I appreciate the confidence that our congressional delegation showed in our university as a place where people use resources wisely and can take on big challenges. Our university is committed to being accountable, and making sure that those investments yield dividends for the taxpayers whose money supports our programs.
That’s a message I am always more than happy to share with our representatives back in the other Washington.