Alumni Vote – Sept. 2010

With Mark Emmert stepping down as UW president to head the NCAA, the university has formed a search committee to conduct a national search with the goal of having a new president in place for the 2011-2012 academic year.

What should be the next UW president’s No. 1 priority?

Reply below to share your thoughts.



24 Responses to Alumni Vote – Sept. 2010

  1. Derek Belt says:

    Obviously, the financial situation at the UW is very bleak. The next UW president should reasses the university’s business model and plan for a future that does not provide state funding. Paying staff salaries and supporting the undergraduate experience via state dollars is not going to work much longer. We need to develop a more sustainable path that keeps the core functionality of the UW in tact while allowing for a more aggressive financial approach.

  2. Mark says:

    “Core” is a key word here, as Derek said. The state funding has declined and I think the UW has done very well in getting grants, etc. to fund specific research programs. The challenge is getting money to support the foundation of any good university – quality education for all undergrads.

  3. Trevor Griffey says:

    Preserving tuition affordability is the top priority. The higher that public university tuition increases, the tighter the door to the middle class closes on a generation of young people. Husky Promise is a good start, but is not nearly enough.

    • Peter Ellis says:

      I agree. Tuition is important, but must be balanced with preserving the quality of UW essential services. Students have been paying ever-rising tuition costs for years, to the point where education is in danger of becoming a privilege of the elite.

  4. Dave says:

    Note that other alumni comments on this page emphasize education and not a new football stadium.

    In this economic climate, it strikes me as inappropriate to devote significant funds to sports when higher education is being priced out of the reach of the middle class.

  5. Aaron says:

    Boost the athletic department’s budget in order to strengthen our great sports programs, especially men’s football & basketball, and women’s softball & basketball!

    Go Dawgs! WOOF WOOF WOOF!

  6. Mike says:

    Get rid of SEIU!!!!!

  7. Elaine Grimm says:

    Preserve UW’s strength in research, and capitalize on funding available for sustainability research.

  8. Lillis I. King says:

    We need the new president to make academics the priority. Obviously, the budget is constrained, but attracting the best professors and instructors means offering higher salaries. I agree with the above observer that a new stadium and an emphasis on sports is not in the best interest of this university. An academic university does not make the media as often as sports, but it does make a reputation in the right circles.

    • Daniel says:

      Athletics is the door that opens and brings media attention to the University. That, in turn, will bring more interest to the UW as a whole where we can then show off to the world what a great first-class university we are!

  9. Glenn Laurence says:

    Not sure what resources the University has currently focused on this, but finding ways to harness and deliver energy more effectively and efficiently should be at the top. We are rapidly depleting the world’s supply of natural energy resources and the future is bleak for our children’s children…not to mention our security as a nation.

    Grants & foundations to support funding for research, developing and implementing curriculum, and establishing a forum for the best science minds to collaborate is imperative. If the UW has already made this a top priority, then make it also a priority to publish the status/progress more frequently – I’m not informed, perhaps I have missed the media. There are many higher learning places that offer degrees in this field (19 including WSU, and many of these are 2yr institutions) -we need people with degrees in Energy Sciences now to collaborate and change our world.

  10. Ann says:

    Yes, make academics the top priority. Require the sports departments to be completely self-supporting. Furthermore, require all sports departments to return 50% of their income back to the university to fund academic programs. The new UW President should accept a frugal salary and agree to a minimal severance package, if any. There should not be a financial incentive to resign the position, as has been the case in the past.

    I do realize that none of these things will be done, but I can dream that some day the goal of this university’s president will be ensuring excellent education — not providing entertainment, and not using his or her salary to secure a spot on the “top 2% of wealthiest Americans” list.

    • Liz says:

      You clearly need to do some homework before commenting. The athletic department is self sufficient because football pays for all the other sports. On good (winning) basketball years those programs pay for themselves.
      This question could be debated for hours but a great University provides a well rounded education including the traditional academics as well as arts and yes, sports – both competitive and intramural. I love this university because it provides an excellent well rounded education. The key is how to continue to do so while the funding from the state continues to shrink.
      Additionally, no one would accept a position of this magnitude without appropriate compensation. I guess you should keep dreaming.

  11. Aaron says:

    Husky promise needs to go away. Assistance is fine but free is no good. A little work to pay for your tuition is good for you.

  12. Don says:

    All professional salaries and staff salaries need to be revisited and most reduced, and examined from the standpoint of supply and demand. Then future raises should be based on fixed dollar amounts, not percentage raises which favor those with salaries at the upper half.

  13. Tim Harris says:

    Ensure that we continue to recruit and retain a diverse community of intelligent students. That means, supporting the Husky Promise program, as well as programs that pair incoming students with career mentors.

  14. Jerry says:

    Ensure that we continue to recruit and retain a diverse community of intelligent students and give out more 100% scholarships to financially needy students.

  15. Marie says:

    Investing in staff and students should be the top priority.

    Secondly, large organizations typically have processes and procedures that generate unnecessary waste and costs on a daily basis. The employees and students know what changes need to occur–empower and reward them for improving effectiveness, saving money, and generating less waste.

  16. Maurine says:

    Build a business model that maintains accessibility by local students rather than catering to the elite among them and out-of-state tuition students, starting with not giving international students in temporary residence in-state tuition.

  17. Scott Liljedahl says:

    Get the football program turned around. Like it or not, but the football program is the national face of our school. It also creates pride with the alumni and they tend to loosen up their wallets a bit more when they can brag about their school.

    The UW can’t compete with Stanford in the classroom, and now in football.

  18. john says:

    A winning football team…

  19. Grant H says:

    An affordable education should be the first priority. A student should not have to accept a large debt for a four year degree.
    If we expect the young people to grow this nation and compete in the world market, they need access to fair paying jobs that demand a higher education.
    Sports are entertaining but do not make a great university and certainly don’t solve the problems of this world.

  20. Rick says:

    - Fund raising and government grants. Should be able to bring in $1 billion a year in endownment on average.

    - Ranking! How come the law school and business school are ranked so low?

    - Salary should be around $500,000. Any more should be paid by outside or endowed fund

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