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Tri-campus Steering Committee Notes
May 26, 2004 Meeting
Faculty Club, Conference Room


  1. Barbara Holland
  2. Review of May 20th Regents Meeting
  3. Outline/authors of interim report

1. Barbara Holland

Barbara Holland, Director of the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (NSLC) and an expert of metropolitan universities, met with the committee to discuss models for the future of tri-campus relations at the UW. Holland noted that she has held positions involved with organizational change and that she has studied it as a scholar. The NSLC looks not only at the US situation, but also abroad, focusing on differentiation within systems, as well as how they evolved. She raised the following points in her presentation.

Holland spoke of the factors that allowed one to know a university: 1) what and how the faculty teach?; 2) who is the scholarship and research for?; and 3) who (and what) are the students, the faculty, the facilities? Holland proposed a model of development from group maturity theories: 1) the growth phase, with a high tolerance for chaos; 2) conflicts and challenges, arising out of a false sense of organizational stability.Holland spoke of the factors that allowed one to know a university: 1) what and how the faculty teach?; 2) who is the scholarship and research for?; and 3) who (and what) are the students, the faculty, the facilities? Holland proposed a model of development from group maturity theories: 1) the growth phase, with a high tolerance for chaos; 2) conflicts and challenges, arising out of a false sense of organizational stability.

Holland compared the situation of the UW to Dearborn and Flint of the Michigan System, and the East and West Campuses of ASU. Their development raised the issue of leadership, and that younger institutions need to sustain an inventive culture. Holland created a chart that detailed how an institutions mission (history and purpose) leads to its values (academic culture, program mix, learning goals, intellectual agenda) lead to strategies, all of which are to benefit (and subject to review by) an audience.

Mission (who/why):

Expectations (external and internal)

Values-Mission shapes the values (how):

Academic culture
Program mix
Learning goals
Intellectual agenda
Sense of cultural, civility and diversity
Who we chose to collaborate with
The nature of shared governance
What is the campus community spirit

Strategies-Values shape the strategies (modes):



Who do we serve
Who judges us
Who we see as our peers



Holland then made a number of points about branch campuses in general:

The committee then proceeded to ask Holland questions and engage in a discussion about the issues she raised. She was asked about the relations between main and new campuses. Holland said that size was important; at this time, Seattle faculty were not required to think about tri-campus relations as much as Bothell and Tacoma. Holland made a further point that institutions can't negotiate.

The committee asked Holland about the Regents and resource issues. Holland said that Regents wanted to know that there is a plan, that decisions had been grounded in an intelligent process. Holland said that one would have to "objectify" the problem and gather evidence; academics are by nature risk-averse, so they wait until alternatives have researched before making decisions. She said that the trick was to insure that no decision was thought as permanent.

Asked about the comparison to Michigan, Holland said the campuses were more mature than those of the UW. She said the trick is to show a mission is continued by newer campuses, but is not necessarily the same. She spoke about UC-Merced, which was started to serve the San Joaquin Valley, yet also is intended to be a research campus as are all the UC campuses.

Holland was asked about faculty governance. She said it may make sense to have formal governance structures, but newer campuses must come up with their own. It was problem noted that, in some respects, Bothell and Tacoma faculty still look to Seattle for approval. Holland said it was a question of defining peers, particularly by looking at the missions of newer campuses. In order to do this, it was important to ask faculty about who they felt were their peers, and to make organizational change a research problem. Holland said that the ultimate goal was to cultivate the attitude that institutions can take risks.

2. May 20th Regents Meeting/3. Outline of the Interim Report

Ross Heath said that the May 20th Regents meeting went well, though getting on the July agenda could be a problem. There possibly could be Saturday meetings in July or August. Douglas Wadden said that Emmert had given the ok to place the discussion on the July agenda, and that it would still be an interim discussion. Campbell said that the Regents were comfortable with the Steering Committee's work, but that the legislature's actions had made them feel as though their hands were tied. Jack Meszaros would be preferable to make the July discussion a tutorial.

It was said that the committee needed to better define Seattle's mission so as to differentiate it from Bothell and Tacoma. It was remarked that it was important for the Regents to understand what decisions had to be made, including missions, and that their decision can be evolutionary. Also important was the committee should be seen researching rather than negotiating. Other important issues to clarify were the missions of the newer campuses and access/resource questions involved. Finally, the importance of starting "where we are at" was noted, so that the report should include a set of common definitions. Thus, the committee could go into Taskforce meetings with a set of givens and a set of options.

Campbell proposed the following structure for the report:

Start with UW Core Values

Public Good

What are we now

(Out of that comes what is the mission of Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma individually.)

Seattle Mission    Bothell Mission    Tacoma Mission

(Whatever these answers are, the next question is what is the structure?)


It was remarked that the committee was the three-campus committee and its charge wasn't to define the individual missions of the campuses. On the other hand, the committee needed to know the base to hypothesize about the future. It was added that the committee also needs to find out how each campus benefits from the three-campus structure.

The committee discussed further details of the report, including Berkeley vs. Michigan models of governance (centralized vs. decentralized; contrasted in article in Academe). Again it was said that the UW seems like a collection of many disparate units. Campbell noted that when OUE started doing interdepartmental work, there were many barriers. The resulting bifurcation of the university made it seem as though the institution (and other like it) was simply looking out for its own good rather than the public good. Heath noted that without research funding, the UW would be 15% smaller. Wood noted that in the 50s and 60s universities rose to their status in sync with the national purpose, but now the agenda is global, so universities should lead.

It was said that, ideally, the would the committee should come to the Regents with all the core agreements, even if having three campuses under one banner made it difficult to determine exactly what the core was.

It was noted that the committee had historical data from two systems (ASU and Michigan) so these could be the anchor points for a discussion with stakeholder. Comments were made about the fact that Mortimer and Holland had both said that Bothell and Tacoma shouldn't be thought of as peers of Seattle. It was said that the faculties at both didn't look to Seattle as a model, but they were also uncomfortable not being a "peer." Heath said that the members from Bothell and Tacoma could come up with a list of peers for their campuses. It was noted also that many faculty joining the new campuses who don't think in terms of three campuses-rather they think they are joining the UW. More dialogue and leadership statements would encourage thinking of the UW as three campuses, while problems existed in standards for promotion and tenure, program review, and course approval.

After this discussion, Heath laid out the report. It would be for an hour at the July meeting, with the external factors, the status quo (including data for the branches), and fleshing out Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma. Campbell pointed out that this was a broad sketch. Heath said that one page each on what makes Bothell and Tacoma distinct from Seattle was all that was needed.

It was remarked that centralization seemed necessarily to lead to loss of autonomy. At the same time, it was said that the UW does have centralization, but lacked a plan for growth. Such a plan could constrain or enable whoever was in leadership. Louie noted that Colorado is centralized, but that the implementation left up to each campus.

Heath concluded the meeting by saying that the report was intended to set the Regents for a more extended discussion.

Notes and Summary by Robert Corbett