UW News

May 19, 2005

Huntsman to focus on strategic initiatives with eye toward future

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Dr. Lee Huntsman, UW president emeritus, continues to serve the University as senior advisor for strategic initiatives. Huntsman’s present responsibilities include a mix of University-wide and UW Medicine activities.

“I don’t expect to be owning or operating any programs. Instead I hope to help people at the departmental, faculty, or school level pursue their ideas for initiatives,” Huntsman said.

One sphere of his activity is in working with the community. Recently he served on the steering committee for the Life Sciences Discovery Fund and co-chaired the Life Sciences Working Group of the Prosperity Partnership.

“We have an opportunity to engage community and business leaders in what we do at the UW,” Huntsman said. “This is a very exciting time. Scientific research, for example, is moving quickly. The connection of science to improvements in health and to other public benefits is more immediate and promising than ever.”

Another area of his activity involves working with the Office of Technology Transfer and the Office of Research to consider ways the commercialization of UW technology might be expanded.

Huntsman’s UW Medicine activity portfolio, based on areas in which Dr. Paul Ramsey, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the medical school, has requested his assistance, will contain global health programs, South Lake Union research hub planning, and development efforts.

“This place is brimming with creativity, energy, and new ideas,” Huntsman said. “And many of the ideas are truly compelling. While resource limitations are often an issue, it’s vital that we do all we can to help these ideas come to fruition.”

Huntsman brings to his present role many years of experience in cross-disciplinary efforts and in building good working relationships with leaders outside of academia. He has served as chair of the UW Department of Bioengineering, which is jointly operated by the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine. From 1993 to 1996 he was associate dean for scientific affairs for the UW medical school. In 1996 became UW provost. In 2002 he was asked to serve first as interim UW president, and then as UW president, until the appointment this past June of Dr. Mark Emmert.