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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

WSU President Hopes To Present 'Unified Front' On Medical School

Washington State University
An existing building on the WSU Spokane campus would be used for the proposed medical school.

This January, Washington State University plans to ask lawmakers for permission to open a medical school in Spokane.

The question is will the University of Washington oppose that effort. It currently runs the state’s only school for doctor of medicine degrees.

WSU President Elson Floyd says his goal is to avoid what one lawmaker has termed the “Apple Cup of medical schools.”

“We are in the process now of negotiating those things so it’s my hope that we’ll be able to present a unified front to the legislature as we go forward next year,” he said on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

The University of Washington has its own plans to seek state funding to double enrollment at its Spokane medical school program. That program serves students from Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The two universities have said they will not oppose each other’s legislative initiatives if they can settle on a formal agreement before the year is out.

Editor's note: this story has been clarified to convey that UW is the only Washington school that offers M.D.s, and that in Spokane UW has a program as opposed to a campus.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."