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Branch campus focus of meeting

ARLINGTON Chancellor Kenyon Chan, of the University of Washingtons Bothell campus, shared his thoughts on the value of higher education with the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Jan. 9 and, perhaps inadvertently, offered tidbits of hope to advocates of a north county campus.
Chan introduced himself, describing his upbringing upstairs from a small shop in Sacramento.
A higher education was my pass to a better life, Chan told the audience of about 60 chamber members and friends.
After relaying statistics on the economic benefit of college degrees (A BA gets an average income of $54,000 and MA gets an average income of $71,000.) he went on to say that college graduates make better citizens and college campuses are huge economic engines as well as cultural institutions.
College graduates are more analytical, he said. They learn how to evaluate a situation.
Chan also argued the benefits of the state system of higher education, telling the audience about the Husky Promise.
Anyone from a home with income less than $50,000 a year can get a full-ride scholarship, he said. Its our Husky Promise. We offer private school qualities at public school costs.
While Chan said he was not in a position to advocate for any particular location for a proposed new campus to serve the northwest corner of the state, he did express his opinion that a new campus needs room to grow into the future.
He said that PAC 10 football would never move its base to a regional campus, but we still need fields for recreation. We need to look out 50 years, at least.
Our number one priority is to build a whole campus and it has to be where the students can get to internships, Chan said.
A leader of Tri-County Coalition to advocate for locating the campus in north Marysville and a chamber board member Becky Foster invited Chan to the chamber luncheon.
We need to build the university campus the right way not in fits and starts, Foster said, adding she felt that Chan presented some good solid arguments for locating the campus in north Marysville, one of the top four sites, after many had been eliminated for various reasons.
Another member of the coalition, the superintendent of Arlington School District Linda Byrnes agreed with Chan about planning for the long haul.
We need to think out 100 years, and even 200 years, Byrnes said. You have to design the whole thing at once, even if you cant build it all at once.
Tri-County Coalition members are not giving up hope, even after the big city headlines quoting Governor Chris Gregoire last week: Pick a site or loose the UW.
I just dont know what NBBJ is thinking, Byrnes said. (NBBJ is the consulting firm that recommended Everett as the best site for the campus.)

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