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Report 94-3: A Western Compact: A Report on California's Continued Membership in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

April 1994

Superseded by Report 95-2. View Full Publication
During the 1993-94 budget session, because of the State's continuing fiscal constraints, the Legislature directed the Commission to assess the merits of California's continued membership in WICHE -- the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, to which 15 western states belong.

In this report, the Commission responds to that directive. It provides a brief description of (1) the origin, purpose, and structure of WICHE, (2) the costs of membership, (3) the responsibilities of member states, (4) the services provided by WICHE and the extent to which California benefits from these services, (5) options available to California for deriving similar benefits without full membership in WICHE, (6) conclusions, and (7) recommendations.

To draft the report, representatives of the Commission met with members of WICHE's staff, the Commission's Statutory Advisory Committee, and staff of California institutions that receive exchange students from WICHE's Professional Student Exchange Program. As a result of those meetings, the Commission believes that California's three Commissioners to WICHE may be able to help that agency redefine how it can be of greater benefit to the State, including accommodating increased student demand for access, better monitoring of student enrollment behavior, and influencing WICHE's policy research agenda to complement that of California.

Thus the Commission offers this proposal:
The Commission recommends that California's three WICHE Commissioners seek to engage WICHE's leaders in a dialogue aimed at redefining how California participates in WICHE. California's three WICHE Commissioners should submit to the Commission for staff evaluation and comment a report on the progress of this dialogue by October 31, 1994, and staff shall complete its analysis for Commission review at its December 1994 meeting. If staff analysis and Commission review concludes that substantial progress has been made in redefining how California participates in WICHE, California should reaffirm its commitment to maintaining full membership in WICHE. In the absence of such progress, California's Legislature should enact appropriate legislation to terminate the State's membership in WICHE.

The Commission adopted this report on April 18, 1994, on recommendation of its Educational Policy and Programs Committee.

Related Topics: Enrollment Demand and Capacity Analysis

Further information may be obtained from the Commission's Research Staff
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

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