“A recent story in The Seattle Times vividly illustrated the tight connection between college opportunity and the state economy.
“The engineering site director for Google in the Seattle region, Brian Bershad, told the Times that he can’t get enough computer scientists and computer engineers from the University of Washington. ‘If the UW could produce 1,000 amazing engineers every year,’ he said, ‘we’d find a way to hire them.’ …
“When a state starts to strangle its universities, bad consequences follow. Students with limited means get frozen out of school. Bright students go to school elsewhere, and they often never come back to enrich the economy back home. Competing out-of-state universities start spiriting away the most talented faculty members, sometimes pulling big grants and private R&D money along with them. High-tech companies that want a university nearby decide to locate elsewhere.
“These are among the reasons the cash-strapped Legislature must give Washington’s universities more leeway …”