It is understandable that the pull of Rutgers would attract Dick McCormick to return to the place he grew up, where his parents had their careers, where he had his start as a professor and served as chair of the history department and dean of arts and sciences. It would naturally be hard for anyone to resist the call to return as president to his home university, though obviously, in withdrawing his name earlier from consideration, Dick tried to resist.
This University will miss his outstanding leadership. His seven years at the University of Washington were characterized by a culture of innovation, a commitment to diversity, a willingness to manage for change, revitalized communication with the University’s many constituents, and significant aspirations for the future, all this in a time of severely constrained resources. The Board of Regents and the entire University community will aggressively continue Dick’s dedicated efforts to represent the value of public higher education to the people of the State of Washington and to champion the cause of adequate State funding. Dick’s highest priority–closing the gap between the per student funding the State provides to the UW and WSU and the public funding of our peer universities in other states–remains the top goal of the University of Washington. We wish Dick well in his new challenges at Rutgers and thank him for the boundless energy and the leadership he gave to our uni!
The Board of Regents will be appointing an acting president and will begin the process of conducting a national search for the next president of the UW. This is one of America’s premier public research universities, and we will be looking for leadership commensurate with its place among the best universities in the nation.