CWU president addresses university - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU president addresses university

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- In Tuesday's "State of the University" address, the president of Central Washington University asks the campus community not to fear change, but embrace it.

CWU president James Gaudino says a new, "entrepreneurial" approach to education would allow for the university to succeed in the face of enormous change, including cuts in state funding, increase in student diversity, and student needs and expectations.

"For more than 100 years the state budget has defined us; now it's time for us to define ourselves," said Gaudino in a written statement, "All of us must take responsibility for building a strong future for this university. We are limited only by our aspirations."

Gaudino notes the state support adds to only about 17 percent of the university's total budget. He also says the state has cut support for the university by 44 percent since the 2009 legislative session and has increased tuition by about the same rate.

The university has begun integrating databases across campus to help make better informed planning and budget decisions.

"This is a fundamental change. Budget decisions must be data driven; we have to take responsibility for where our funding comes from and how we spend it," said Gaudino. "Our prosperity is in our own hands. We need to believe that change is possible."

The State of the University address can be viewed online at