Central Washington University Tightens Its Budget - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Central Washington University Tightens Its Budget

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High gas prices prompted Governor Chris Gregoire to send an open letter to state agencies and institutions of higher education asking them to limit spending.                                                     

At Central Washington University, administrators are filling positions that have already begun recruiting, but hiring will be frozen after that.                                                                           

The university is also trying to cut gas consumption by five percent.  CWU must cut some trips both in-and-out-of-state...but no decisions have been made on what will be canceled.   

Administrators said the university has been budgeting conservatively for some time now.  The student government even has money left from the 2007 budget.   Interim Vice President of University Relations Ellen Hall called the budget squeeze a "teachable moment" for students and faculty.

"We need to do our best to make sure that we do the best we can to educate, to learn and then to then to conserve what we have and use it wisely."

CWU will rely more on video tele-conferencing this year to keep fuel expenses down.

The university says education is still the first priority, and that there are no plans to raise tuition.  Administrators say bus services won't be cut either.