University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Presidential Orders

Executive Order

No. 11

The Vice President for External Affairs

1. The Vice President for External Affairs is responsible for programs and communications that foster a greater understanding of the institution and its mission. The major divisions of External Affairs are the offices responsible for governmental relations at the federal, state, and regional levels; Media Relations and Communications; UW Marketing; UWTV; and Trademarks and Licensing. The Vice President for External Affairs is responsible for developing and implementing a coordinated program of strategic communications designed to advance the institutional objectives of the University, by means of a comprehensive array of communication media, from print to broadcast to the Internet. University strategic communications are based on careful analysis of the interests and perspectives of major stakeholders—local, national, and international. The central purpose of the External Affairs divisions is to inform people about the University's goals, aspirations, and programs, and thereby build support for its mission of teaching, research, and service.

2. The major divisions reporting to the Vice President for External Affairs are as follows:

  A. Government Relations

    1) Federal Relations—The Office of Federal Relations represents the University by advancing its priorities with members of Congress, their staffs, and federal agency administrators. Activities include developing a strategic plan for federal relations shaped by annual priorities, and then working to advance those priorities by advocating on behalf of the University, monitoring legislation, and pointing out new ways in which the University can benefit from federal legislation or programs.

    2) State Relations—The Office of State Relations works with state legislators, statewide elected officials, and state agency officials to advance the UW's academic and legislative agenda. The office has four main areas of responsibility:
  • Facilitate positive relationships with state government,

  • Advocate on behalf of the University,

  • Educate the University community about state issues, and

  • Ensure compliance with state public disclosure laws.
    3) Regional Relations—The Office of Regional Relations serves as a link between the University, surrounding neighborhoods, civic groups, and local government. The office works to build relationships between these groups by sharing information and seeking new opportunities to match the University's academic capital with needs in the community. It also seeks to promote mutual understanding between these groups and to coordinate University response to local policy issues.

  B. Media Relations and Communications

    1) Media Relations and Communications—This office is responsible for working with the media in order to broaden public awareness and understanding of the University of Washington's mission—including its innovations in education; contributions to solving regional, national, and worldwide problems; and discoveries and breakthroughs that improve the quality of life in the Northwest and around the globe.

    2) News and Information—This office provides news of University activities, teaching, research, and service to local, state, national, and international media; and responds to reporters seeking expert commentary on matters of public interest. The office prepares and distributes news releases, delivers story ideas with video potential to local television stations, writes and edits various internal and external communications including University Week, and serves as the University's official press liaison during emergencies or crises. The office also provides still photographic services to the University community.

    3) KUOW Public Radio—KUOW-FM (94.9) is a noncommercial radio station licensed to the University. The station provides National Public Radio and locally produced news and public affairs programming to the greater Puget Sound Region 24 hours a day.

    4) Office of Public Records and Open Public Meetings—This office assists the public, businesses, local and national media, and attorneys in accessing public records held by the University of Washington, in accordance with the state's public records laws. The office also coordinates information about meetings of University committees that are subject to the state's Open Public Meetings Act.

    5) Information and Visitors Center—The Center provides general and specific information about the University and the community and offers guided walking tours of the UW Seattle campus.

  C. UW Marketing

Jointly reporting to both the Vice President for External Affairs and the Vice President for University Advancement, UW Marketing is responsible for building awareness and enhancing the reputation of the University among UW faculty, staff, and students; prospective students and parents; regional, state, and federal legislators; business and community leaders; peer institutions nationally and internationally; Washington State residents; and alumni and donors. By establishing and maintaining the overall UW brand identity, UW Marketing builds and implements strategic communications and outreach plans for each of the target audiences. UW Marketing is a central source and resource for marketing and communications efforts, providing the leadership and venues for collaboration. UW Marketing produces publications, websites, videos, e-communications, social networking presences, advertising, events, and other strategic initiatives. In addition, UW Marketing provides expert guidance and support to all other marketing and communications professionals across the University to help ensure the consistency and quality of UW communications.


UWTV produces and distributes video programming for the University. For more than 10 years, UWTV has maintained a full-time cable channel in the Puget Sound area and several other communities throughout the state. In addition, a video library of university programming is made available on, as well as through YouTube and iTunes U. UWTV also has a robust presence on social media networks and is committed to staying current with new distribution and networking technologies that utilize video. UWTV shares their expertise as a multi-platform media organization with marketing and web professionals around the campus to assist them in producing, presenting, and publishing video to enhance and strengthen their communications goals and practices. UWTV also provides video transport services to distribute live signals for Husky sports as well as to connect and showcase UW experts with national and international news organizations.

  E. Trademarks and Licensing

The Trademarks and Licensing Office administers the University's licensing program to control the commercial use of the University's name and registered trademarks. Manufacturers of emblematic merchandise must obtain a licensing agreement to secure the rights to print the University's name or identifying marks on their products. The licensing agreement requires products are manufactured in compliance to the University's Code of Conduct.

June 1, 1972; February 21, 1978; October 1, 1982; February 10, 1988; April 6, 1990; September 24, 1996; August 21, 2002; October 11, 2010.

For additional delegations of authority, see:

  • Board of Regents Governance, Bylaws, Article V, "Officers of the University"
  • Board of Regents Governance, Standing Orders, Chapter 1, "Delegation of Authority"
  • Board of Regents Governance, Standing Orders, Chapter 6, "Authority for Washington Administrative Code Rule Making"
  • Executive Order No. 1, "The Office of the President"
  • Executive Order No. 4, "The Provost"
  • Executive Order No. 6, "The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), UW Medicine and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Washington"
  • Executive Order No. 7, "The Vice President for Minority Affairs"
  • Executive Order No. 12, "The Deans"
  • Executive Order No. 14, "Chancellor, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma"
  • Executive Order No. 18, "The University Ombud"
  • Executive Order No. 62, "The Vice President for University Advancement"
  • Administrative Orders: Delegations of Authority