Washington State University President Kirk Schulz has been on the job for about six months. The latest edition of the WSU Spokane Magazine has this Q&A with WSU’s new president to talk about his thoughts on Spokane, WSU’s medical school and more:
Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation today that allows WSU to operate a medical school in Spokane. This is a great day for WSU, Spokane and the entire state. As the Governor was signing, the audience around him broke out into a nice rendition of the WSU fight song – a fitting way to celebrate.
The legislation – officially House Bill 1559 – changes a 1917 law that restricted medical education solely to the University of Washington.
It’s been a long road to this point. So what comes next?
The Washington House of Representatives passed its version of the medical school bill tonight.
The bill would allow WSU to operate a medical school on its Spokane campus (it also allows WSU to operate a forestry program, as Rep. Ed Orcutt deftly pointed out).
So what’s the next step? The Senate still needs to vote on its version of the bill. The bill would also need approval from Governor Inslee.
The bill simply changes a 1917 law that restricted medical education to the University of Washington. WSU is also asking for $2.5 million in startup funds to work through the accreditation process. Those budget discussions will come at a later date.
The legislature is scheduled to end its session on April 26.
Washington State University’s pursuit of a medical school took a big step forward today when two bills – one in the Senate and one in the House – were introduced today and would allow WSU to operate a public medical school. A law that dates back to 1917 currently mandates that only the University of Washington can operate a public medical school in Washington.
Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) introduced the bill in the Senate, while Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) introduced the bill in the House.