Bill Wilkerson Wilkerson Consulting 3728 Kinsale Lane SE Olympia, by bzs14448

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									Bill Wilkerson
Wilkerson Consulting
3728 Kinsale Lane SE
Olympia, WA 98501



December 17, 2008


TO:            All Members, Higher Education Coordinating Board
               Ann Daley, Executive Director

SUBJECT:       Site options for a new four-year higher education campus in Snohomish County


I was retained in early September by the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) to carry
out an assignment given it by the Legislature related to a four-year higher education institution
for the Skagit, Island, and Snohomish County (SIS) area. The 2008 Supplemental budget
directed the HECB:

       to convene interested parties from Snohomish, Island, and Skagit counties to consider the
       November 2007 site options and recommendations for a new campus of the University of
       Washington in Snohomish county. The three local communities shall develop a
       consensus recommendation on a single preferred site and present the recommendation to
       the higher education coordinating board. The higher education coordinating board shall
       then present the single preferred site recommendation to the appropriate legislative fiscal
       and policy committees by December 1, 2008. Sec. 612(12), Ch. 329, Laws of 2008, PV

After considerable dialogue with community leaders and elected officials in the SIS area, as well
as other people greatly interested in such an expansion of higher education opportunities in this
tri-county area, I have the following to report:

First, discussions with leaders in the two primary areas of consideration, Everett and Marysville,
have not resulted in a consensus at this time as to “a single preferred site.”

Second, support for a new four-year institution in one of the two cities, and in all of the SIS area,
is overwhelming. Everyone I talked to believes a four-year higher education opportunity for
students in the area is essential to the region’s future.

Third, Everett and Marysville have generated tremendous enthusiasm and support in their
communities for their respective proposed project(s). Both communities strongly believe they
are best suited to house a new four-year institution.
UW North – Consultant’s Final Report
                                                                                                Page 2


Fourth, tremendous resources have been committed by both communities and the state to identify
and develop information, siting opportunities, and strategies to locate a four-year institution in
one of these communities.

As a facilitator, I have come to the conclusion that the HECB was given the wrong assignment.
Despite all the work already done on site alternatives, I believe the first decision that needs to be
made is not which is the best site. The consensus opinion of community leaders, which I share,
is that the Legislature should first authorize a new higher education institution in Snohomish
County to provide additional educational opportunities in the region. The exact location would
be determined after that decision has been made.

Second, I am not personally alarmed at the healthy competition that exists between the two
communities. It took me one meeting with each community to determine that site competition
by the two is only a plus for the state. However, if all that the Legislature and Governor see is
the site dispute, it will be tough to proceed. Hopefully, wide ranging support for an authorizing
bill will show a unified community in the SIS area.

Third, everyone wants to know at some point how the siting decision will be made and by whom.
Most feel that the sponsoring institution and the Governor must weigh in on any authorizing
legislation and ultimate siting decision in a much more aggressive manner than has occurred to
date. However, virtually everyone I talked to felt that a bill authorizing a Snohomish County site
would be marginalized or made more difficult by defining that process in the bill.

Fourth, no one supports further study of the issue, but most understand that final site decisions
will require more specific information (e.g. land prices, transportation investments, higher
education needs, environmental issues, etc.) as to each preferred site.

Finally, once a bill is passed, the key leaders in both communities need to commit to each other
that they will support a fair process, and continue to unite behind the four-year institution until it
is built and fully operating. Most in the communities have said that will occur.

I want to thank the HECB for the opportunity to work on this project. I particularly want to
thank the many people who gave me their time and good thoughts. The project would be a
tremendous asset for the SIS tri-county area and its future students. I wish you all the best in
making early progress in the Legislature this session. If you and others work together, I am
confident of your success.

Again my thanks and sincere best wishes to all of you.


Bill Wilkerson
                      NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE BOARD




                                     RESOLUTION NO. 08-41

WHEREAS, The Washington State Legislature included a proviso in the 2008 supplemental
operating budget (ESHB 2687, Sec. 612.12) directing the Higher Education Coordinating Board to
convene interested parties from Snohomish, Island, and Skagit Counties to consider the November
2007 site options and recommendations for a new campus of the University of Washington in
Snohomish County; and

WHEREAS, The aforementioned proviso also directed that the three local communities develop a
consensus recommendation on a single preferred site and present the recommendation to the Higher
Education Coordinating Board, and that the Higher Education Coordinating Board would then present
the single preferred site recommendation to the appropriate legislative fiscal and policy committees by
December 1, 2008; and

WHEREAS, The Higher Education Coordinating Board did retain the professional mediation and
negotiation services of Mr. Bill Wilkerson to facilitate discussion and agreement between the
interested parties from Snohomish, Island, and Skagit Counties to develop a consensus
recommendation on a single preferred site for a new campus of the University of Washington in
Snohomish County; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Wilkerson has met and conferred with state, county, and city elected officials in the
three counties, business and community organization leaders, major employers, and the community
college and higher education institutions serving the region for the purpose of developing the
consensus recommendation for a new campus; and

WHEREAS, In December 2008, Mr. Wilkerson provided the Higher Education Coordination Board
with his final report, which concludes that a consensus agreement has not been reached by the
interested parties; and

WHEREAS, The Higher Education Coordinating Board has reviewed the aforementioned report;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Higher Education Coordinating Board hereby
authorizes and directs its Executive Director to transmit the aforementioned report to the Governor and
Legislature.

December 17, 2008

Attest:
                                                   _______________________________________
                                                                         Bill Grinstein, Chair

                                                   _______________________________________
                                                                     Roberta Greene, Secretary

								
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