WSU-Spokane’s Diversity Problem

In light of yesterday’s comments that the Spokane WWAMI program is losing students, it seemed appropriate to re-look at WSU Spokane enrollment.  Enrollment spiked in 2004-2005, but is now less than it was ten years ago in spite of massive expenditures on improvements and the introduction of new programs. It is unclear how this trend leads to a $1.6 gazillion $ economic impact on Eastern Washington.

chart_1(1)WSU Spokane enrolls women almost exclusively


Data is from the WSU Office of Institutional Research for Fall of 2013.

Undergraduate students account for 46% of the total 1,376 students enrolled (includes both full time and part time students). In other words, roughly half the students are undergraduates and among this group 87% are female and 13% are male.


When including the graduate students at WSU-Spokane, the diversity of the student population expands slightly to include more male students.chart_3If the percentages were reversed – 13% female and 87% male, local politicians, activists and the media would accuse WSU of discrimination. Instead, we have silence.

Bottom line: WSU-Spokane is failing to meet the educational needs of male students in Spokane.

This is a ticking time bomb – someone will eventually file a complaint or lawsuit against the publicly funded WSU for discriminating against male students in the Spokane region.

WSU, UW in pissing match over future Spokane medical school

UW and WSU continue to argue over Spokane-based medical education or a med school.

Spokane promoters again point to an exaggerated and fictitious economic impact, and the parent of a Spokane WWAMI medical student rips the Spokane operation, saying facilities are inadequate and students are abandoning the program.

Spokane leaders point with pride to the city’s growing importance as a provider of medical services, and cite a 2010 consultant’s report which says that a new medical school there would have a $2.1 billion statewide economic impact — $1.6 billion of that in Eastern Washington.

via WSU, UW spar over future of region’s med schools | Local News | The Seattle Times.

See “Forecast Economic Impacts of the Spokane Medical School” to learn why this claim is a work of fiction. Spokane is famous for its tall tales and lies. Also see “WSU-Spokane’s Diversity Problem” (enrollment is 73% female, 27% mail overall, and 87% female at the undergraduate level).

The parent of a WWAMI student at the Spokane campus (see comments of “user492056”) provides this feet on the ground perspective that the facilities are inadequate and most of the students are abandoning the program – something that Spokane’s propaganda shill media are not reporting on:

The current Spokane medical sciences education site is a cooperative venture between Eastern, Gonzaga, Whitworth, and WSU for the education of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dental students, and pharmacists.  The afterthought space left over for medical students is completely inadequate.  The lecture space accommodates at most twenty students without even providing electrical outlets to let students use modern technology.

Only nine of the past year’s twenty first year Spokane medical students are choosing to stay in Spokane for their second year.  This fact speaks volumes.  None of Pullman’s first year medical students are going to Spokane for their second year despite aggressive recruitment.  All of them are transferring to Seattle to complete their medical education.

If true[1], Spokane’s multi-zillion $ economic impact medical education program seems to have failed at launch. In real cities, these allegations would be the subject of the 4th estate keeping local government in line. But, you know the story, this is Spokane and we have Spokane promotional media.

[1] Since Confirmed as true. Buried in the Journal of Business on page 27 a few days after this post went live. Thank you JoB and SR (also) for eventually covering this story.

Keywords: Spokane medical school Hoopfest lilac festival parade

Riverfront Park Master Plan 2014 acknowledges low wage/poverty problem

Link to Spokane’s Riverfront Park Master Plan (PDF file). Most of the development ideas are pretty cool, and the park is in need of an upgrade.  The long term neglect is an indicator that reminds us of the poor economic situation. From the Master Plan itself:

“While the city of Spokane is the second largest metropolitan region in the State, it has some of the highest rates of poverty. Spokane’s median household income is just 70% of the statewide figure.”

More on that topic:

The following is quoted from those linked pages.

As you can see in the following chart, while Spokane (red line) wages have increased, average wages in the state (blue line) have increased faster. Over several decades, wages in the State have increased at twice the rate of wages in Spokane. Stated another way, the longer we stay in Spokane the further behind we fall.

Average wages are about 80% of the rest of the State, yet our costs of living are closer to 100%. We have to spend close to the national average to live here (somethings, like health care, are priced higher than the national average).

[Update: The Riverfront Park Master Plan says that median wages have fallen to the 70% level. The chart above uses average wages, not median, but chances are good that the average wage has fallen further, as this has been a 30 year trend.]

Source: Spokane Poverty Rates

Spokane Employment and Unemployment Update

Long term trend from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

SMS53440600000000001_246930_1403720257481Shorter term data (which may include local adjustments) from the Washington Employment Security Department’s Numbers and Trends web site:


The chart now shows steady job growth. Unemployment has dropped, as this blog predicted long ago, at about a one percentile point per year rate.


If everything remains the same, total jobs may reach the prior peak 2008 level by 2016. Old projections thought that by about 2016, there would be 235,000 jobs. This is roughly where jobs need to catch up to be comparable to the jobs/population ratio in 2008, due to continued population growth. However, labor force participation has been falling, which means more people are not working (either by choice or because they gave up looking for work).


The simplest “take away” is that the Spokane MSA will be back to 2008 jobs level by about 2016. The  United States as a whole already reached the 2008 level earlier this year; Spokane is taking twice as along as the rest of the country.

A related takeaway, however, is that job growth remains tepid, growing about half as fast as during the 2002-2008 period or the 1990 to 2000 period. Just look at the red line versus the blue line to see the job growth rate, visually. Slow growth in employment is likely to retain Spokane’s low wage problem. (Another post on that shortly).

Deaconess Hospital ranked among nation’s worst for infections and complications

Really: “Deaconess Hospital places among hospitals with highest infection rates

Deaconess Hospital scored a 9.675 out of a 1 to 10 scale. Of the over 3,300 hospitals ranked, only about 60 have scores higher than Deaconess. According to Kaiser, hospitals scoring 9 or greater are likely to be assessed financial penalties.

Hospitals landing in the bottom quartile will lose 1% of every Medicare payment starting in October of 2014 (meaning they will charge everyone else more). They could lost up to 5.4% including the impact of other programs.

Given KREM’s past headlines, this should have been tilted “Deaconess Hospital staff among busiest in the nation at fighting infections“!

Related: Sacred Heart Medical Center had its own brush with management incompetence not long ago. The Spokane area has a hard time attracting and retaining world class talent, to put it mildly.

Spokane has 2nd highest crime reporting rate in the nation

Spokane, surprisingly, makes it to the #2 position on this list of “The 13 Most Dangerous Cities in America – Pg.12 – TheStreet.” Overview here.

Their scoring uses the total number of reported crimes per 100,000 residents, but does not assign greater or lesser weight depending on the type of crime. It’s just a tally of all reported crime. And summing up all crimes leads to a high number for Spokane.

Other popular crime rankings assign “weights” to gauge the severity of crime. For example, an armed robbery might be weighted 3 times higher than a property theft. In that scenario, one armed robbery would be treated the same as 3 unarmed property thefts. But that leads to oddities like an armed robber stealing $50 from a convenience store rated three times worse than a property thief stealing $5,000 in personal property from a house. Which is really worse?

Taking the severity of crime into consideration for a crime ranking makes intuitive sense, but the actual assignment of weights is arbitrary. By adjusting the weights the crime analyst can create any ranking they want.

Spokane’s propaganda mill says “Spokane PD ranks second for busiest officers in the U.S.“, a claim not actually made in the survey. Which is typical for living in a propaganda paradise of outright lies.

Here is how the headline read:



Here is the accurate version that now runs on their website with the video news report – but the original text report, linked above, still has the false propaganda-oriented headline:


Spokane has a propaganda ministry that makes “Baghdad Bob” look like a rank amateur.

Edit change: The title of this blog post was changed from saying Spokane ranks in the top 13 crime rate list to “Spokane has 2nd highest crime reporting rate in the nation”. The paragraphs explaining crime index weighting were added since the original post was made.

More Spokane Crime

Spokane police stress downtown still safe.

The downtown business cartel says downtown is really safe.

Some one tell them the meaning of empiricism. Back in the reality-based world, there’s this from KREM TV:

“There had been dozens of calls reporting malicious mischief, theft and car prowling at the STA Plaza in the month leading up to Saturday’s stabbing. There were 15 instances of violence reported in that month according to authorities.”

A correspondent suggests its time to abandon ship and get out while you can – Spokane has gone to hell they say. Good luck!