Support Eastern Washington University Parks & Recreation Programs!

Industry Alert!

The Eastern Washington University RCLS Programs (Outdoor Recreation Leadership, Recreation and Tourism Management, and Therapeutic Recreation) are on a list of proposed programs to be cut at the end of this academic year. The University is facing historic budget cuts as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The EWU Division of Academic Affairs has been asked to cut $16 million dollars from a $55 million dollar budget. As a result, a good number of campus programs are under consideration for discontinuance. The university has already begun the review process that will extend through most of this academic year and expects to make final decisions by June of 2021.

It goes without saying that this would be a devastating step backward for our profession. EWU is one of three remaining accredited programs within our state and is responsible for producing hundreds of aspiring Park and Recreation Professionals every year. As we think about the future of our profession in an ever-changing world that needs us now more than ever, I am asking that the WRPA membership to consider expressing our support for this critical program.

Unfortunately, time is not on our side.

The faculty needs program defense materials by the end of next week. So we are asking folks to send written statements of support to Emily Messina at [email protected] by Monday, November 9th. I apologize in advance for the short notice; the turnaround for this process is very tight.

Some points to consider for your letter could be:

  • Introduction to your organization and generally how this program supports the work that we do.

  • Connections to the EWU RCLS Program (alumni, supervisor or co-worker of alumni/interns).

  • The COVID-19 budget crisis is temporary, discontinuation would be permanent and devastating to our industry.

  • Data that demonstrates how our industry was among the first to provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis, and that access to the outdoors and recreation programs has been vital to mental and physical health.

  • Prospects for the industry and demand for entry-level professionals, post COVID-19.

I know that everyone is overloaded with work these days, but would ask that you consider taking some time to express support for this program.

And...Go Eags!!!

Paul Simmons
WRPA President

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