Baird ousted from higher education board

first_img OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee has decided to replace half of the Washington Student Achievement Council, surprising state lawmakers and raising questions about the direction of a newly formed board charged with writing a road map for higher education.“It’s a substantial disappointment to have worked so hard, to have made some very positive contributions and to be moving toward some very constructive recommendations, and then to have that stopped in mideffort,” said former U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, the ousted chairman. “It’s frustrating.”Baird, who served with Inslee in Congress for 12 years, and the three other members being replaced were appointed by former Gov. Chris Gregoire last summer and were moving through the confirmation process. They found out about Inslee’s decision just hours before they were scheduled to get a vote in the Senate Higher Education Committee.“Of course the governor has a right to choose whoever he wants,” said state Sen. David Frockt, a Seattle Democrat who sits on that committee. “But yes, I was surprised.”Inslee spokesman David Postman downplayed the move, saying the governor’s decision was “not a judgment on the people who have served or their ideas about higher education.” Former U.S. Representative Brian Baird has been ousted from the Washington Student Achievement Council, of which he was chairman, by Gov. Jay Inslee.last_img

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