HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Western Washington Criticized for Faculty Raises. “Governor Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, and some higher education leaders in Washington State are criticizing Western Washington University officials for agreeing to a faculty contract that grants raises of 5.25 percent this year and 4.25 percent each of the following two years, plus an increase of 15 percent in stipends for department chairs. . . . ‘Your agreement seems to ignore the shared sacrifice that other state employees in general government and institutions of higher education have made during the Great Recession,’ Gregoire wrote in a letter to Bruce Shepard, the university’s president. She added that Western’s raises ‘will hurt current and future efforts to protect and increase funding for public higher education.'”

You’ll see more of this sort of thing, as people fight over slices of a shrinking pie.