UW News

June 6, 2005

Phyllis Wise selected as University of Washington provost

News and Information

University of Washington President Mark A. Emmert announced today the appointment of Phyllis M. Wise as provost of the university. Wise is currently dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Her appointment will be effective Aug. 1, 2005, subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.

“Phyllis Wise is a spectacular addition to the University of Washington,” said Emmert. “She brings all the requisite skills and values needed to be the provost of one of America’s top research universities: an eminent scientist, a brilliant educator, a talented leader. I am delighted she will be joining our administrative team. She will find a remarkably innovative and collaborative institution ready to take on the next generation of intellectual challenges. She will provide exceptional leadership for the university, enabling our students, faculty and staff to accomplish even greater things in the future.”

The provost is the chief academic officer and chief budget officer of the university, to whom the deans of the University’s schools and colleges report. Other major units of the Provost’s Office include: Educational Outreach, Educational Partnerships and Learning Technologies, Diversity/Office of Minority Affairs, UW TechTransfer, International Education, Office of Research, Undergraduate Education, The Graduate School, Planning and Budgeting and UW Libraries. The provost is responsible for the University’s annual budget of nearly $3 billion, including nearly $1 billion in sponsored research. The University of Washington ranks first nationally among public universities in total federal support for research and training.

Wise, who is a distinguished professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior in the Division of Biological Sciences, and professor of physiology and membrane biology in the School of Medicine at Davis, has served as dean since 2002.

Prior to that, she was professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1993 to 2002. Wise was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, from 1976 to 1993, promoting through the ranks to full professor of physiology in 1987.

She holds a bachelor’s degree (1967) from Swarthmore College in biology and master’s (1969) and doctorate (1972) degrees in zoology from the University of Michigan.

As dean of biological sciences at UC Davis she chaired the group that oversaw life science initiatives, including: the Genome Center Initiative, the Center for Neuroscience, the Center for Population Biology and the Bodega Marine Laboratory. She has also served as a member of the International Programs Advisory Group at Davis, the UC Davis Enterprise Campus Board and the Coordinating Council for the Center for Regenerative Science and Therapies.

Wise serves on a number of scientific advisory committees, including the advisory board for the Oregon Regional Primate Center, the scientific advisory council for the Society of Women’s Health Research, the advisory board of the University of Michigan Nathan Shock Center for Biological Aging, the Kronos Research Foundation Board of Directors and the Buck Institute Board of Directors.

Wise was featured in Parade Magazine cover story on “The Quiet Heroes” engaged in lifesaving research and has received many awards, including the Award for Excellence in Science from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in 2002, and the Women in Endocrinology Mentor Award in 2003. She was also selected by the Endocrine Society in 2004 as the recipient of the Roy O. Greep Award for outstanding contributions to research in endocrinology. Wise received the Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan prize from the University of Kentucky in 2002. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to original research.

Wise also has received two MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) awards from the National Institutes of Health, from 1986 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2010. MERIT awards provide NIH grant recipients with funding for innovative research over an extended period of time. This highly selective award is presented to researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity.

Her research interests include endocrine and neurochemical mechanism regulating neural plasticity during aging, and neuroprotective actions of estrogen after injury and during aging.

Her salary will be $325,000.