Rep. Larry Haler’s work on higher education continues with his appointment to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education


September 6, 2013

CONTACT: Brendon Wold, Deputy Communications Director – (360) 786-7698

Rep. Larry Haler’s work on higher education continues with his appointment to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland and ranking Republican on the House Higher Education Committee, was recently appointed as one of three Washington state legislators to serve on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

WICHE is a regional organization that began in the 1950s. It is comprised of 15 Western states and the Pacific Island U.S. territories. The group’s goal is to facilitate resource sharing among the higher education systems of the West.

Haler was chosen to serve on WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee and returned this week from a two-day conference held by the committee in Las Vegas Nevada, titled “Navigating the Rapidly Changing World of Higher Education.”

“Obviously, it’s an extreme honor to be chosen by my colleagues to continue my work in higher education through WICHE and the Legislative Advisory Committee,” said Haler. “I relish any opportunity to increase access and decrease tuition costs for our students – keeping higher education affordable and reachable for our students regardless of whether they come from poverty or the middle class. The work we’re doing with WICHE will help us do both.”

Haler said he was excited to learn what other states are doing in their higher education systems to keep college affordable, especially with the advent of new technologies and innovative processes.

“I don’t think any one state has all the answers when it comes to addressing the needs of higher education and our students,” said Haler. “The collaborative process involved at WICHE allows states to share what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past, and why. It allows us to take a look at something like online learning and see what other states are doing to implement this new technology and then ask questions like, ‘How would this be fully integrated into Washington’s higher education system? What would it look like? How much would it cost? Is this a viable tool to reach some of our rural areas that don’t have ready access to college or university campuses?”

Learning how other states leverage state dollars to continue funding for residency programs at local hospitals was also an eye opener for Haler.

“It doesn’t matter what state you live in, funding local programs is always an issue,” said Haler. “Utilizing tax dollars to their fullest – staying accountable and transparent with those dollars while at the same time striving to get the most local bang for the buck – is paramount. I’m eager to see how we can apply some of the lessons learned from other states here in Washington, and, specifically, in the Tri-Cities region.”

For more information about Rep. Haler, visit:


Rep. Haler’s media:
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