UW Today

This is an archived article.

January 6, 2005

Patricia Spakes named chancellor of UW Tacoma

News and Information

University of Washington President Mark Emmert has selected Patricia Spakes, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, to become chancellor of University of Washington, Tacoma, effective April 4, 2005. The appointment is subject to approval of the UW Board of Regents at the Jan. 20, 2005 meeting.

“This search did what such searches are supposed to do,” said Emmert, “scour the country for the best talent out there and find someone with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to bring to this important leadership position. Patricia Spakes has all of this and more. She is a wonderful academic leader and will be an asset to the University of Washington, Tacoma, the community it serves, and the higher education community in our state. She will make an impact, and I’m very excited about the future of our Tacoma campus under her stewardship.”

“The appointment of Patricia Spakes as chancellor of UWT is tremendous news for the South Puget Sound region,” said Ray Tennison, president of Simpson Investment Co. and a member of the Search Advisory Committee. “The community leaders involved in the process were very impressed with her and her community orientation. She not only has a visionary approach to higher education administration, she clearly articulates the possibilities and challenges faced by colleges and universities. I look forward to working with her.”

Spakes holds a doctorate in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin, a master of social work from the University of South Carolina, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology/social work and English from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.

Spakes has been provost and vice president at Shippensburg since 2001. Shippensburg is primarily a residential university serving 7,700 students. Spakes was responsible for leadership in all academic areas.

She was vice president for academic affairs at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts from 1997 to 2001. Fitchburg is a four-year institution serving 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and nontraditional students enrolled in evening, off-campus and continuing education programs.

She served as vice provost for academic affairs at Arizona State University West from 1992 to 1997, and was professor and founding chair of the women’s studies program at ASU West from 1990 to 1992. ASU West is a separately accredited, metropolitan university that is a part of Arizona State University, serving commuting upper division and graduate students at the time Spakes was there.

She also worked at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, beginning in 1980, in a variety of capacities — assistant and then professor of social work, director of school social work certification, interim coordinator of women’s programs, and chair of women’s studies.

Spakes’ academic publications have focused on family policy. She has served on the editorial board of “Lifestyles: A Journal of Changing Patterns” and has been a reviewer for a number of academic journals, including the “Journal of Social Work Education.”

In 1989, Spakes was named a “Woman of Achievement” by the Greensboro, N.C., Commission on the Status of Women, and in 1998 she received the University of North Carolina, Greensboro Award for Outstanding Leadership in Women’s Studies.

Spakes’ annual salary will be $185,000.