UW News

January 17, 2008

Official notices

Year-end tax form distribution

W-2s, 1099Rs and UW Stipend letters for active employees will be distributed with paychecks on Friday, January 25th. The 1042-S form will be distributed with paychecks on Monday, March 10th. For inactive employees, these forms will be mailed to the provided local address. For more information: http://www.washington.edu/admin/payroll, or (206) 543-9202.

Employees: exempt status and the W-4

If you claimed “exempt” status on your federal income tax withholding during 2007 are eligible to renew your claim for 2008, you MUST submit a new Form W-4 “Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate” to the Payroll Office by February 15. You can update your W-4 information through Employee Self Service. For more information: http://www.washington.edu/admin/payroll, or (206) 543-9202.

Tax exempt status for non-resident alien employees

If you are a non-resident alien employee who claimed “exempt” status on federal income tax withholding for 2007 and are eligible to renew your claim for 2008, you must resubmit both a new Form 8233, “Exemption from Withholding on Compensation…” and a US income tax treaty article to the Payroll Office by February 15th. For more information: http://www.washington.edu/admin/payroll, or (206) 543-9202.

Proposals for R&D Funding Due April 24

Washington businesses working on cutting-edge new technologies can apply for a grant from Washington Technology Center to move their R&D forward. Washington Technology Center awards hundreds of thousands of dollars to Washington-based research teams in an effort to help transition great ideas out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.

Washington Technology Center allocates around $1 million annually to the Research & Technology Development (RTD) grants program, which awards funding on a competitive basis to collaborative research teams working on innovative technology projects with near-term commercial viability. This funding can pay up to 80 percent of the cost of research projects — allowing companies to channel their capital to other business growth needs. Project teams are eligible to receive up to $100,000 for initial proof-of-concept projects and up to $300,000 total for multi-phase projects.

RTD grants are applicable to a wide-range of technologies and both start-up ventures and established companies looking to trial and market a new technology are eligible. However, preference is given to companies, those with 250 or fewer employees.

Washington Technology Center’s RTD funding helps Washington companies grow faster, create jobs and attract investors by providing that critical funding needed to advance scientific research and product development. Since 1995, the Washington Technology Center has awarded more than 300 grants through the RTD program. Past recipients include Real Networks, EKOS, Microvision, Siemens Medical Systems, RS Medical and Tree Top. RTD-affiliated companies have partnered with world-class researchers from the University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga University, and Western, Central and Eastern Washington Universities, and Swedish Medical Center.

Free information sessions are offered throughout the year. To reserve a space, contact RTD Project Manager, Russell Paez, 206-616-3102, e-mail rpaez@watechcenter.org.  

How to Apply: To be considered for the spring 2008 round of grants, interested parties should complete a Notice of Intent form by March 20. Applications are due on April 24. Winners are notified in June and projects begin July 1. More information and applications materials are available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/re/rtd.  

2008 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Conference

The 2008 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Conference, Saturday, Feb. 2, 8 am –5 pm in the HUB, is designed to appeal to high school, community college, and undergraduate and graduate university students. The conference arena focuses on empowering our girls and ladies in engineering, science, and technology fields to discover new opportunities, identify personal strengths, and to increase overall their confidence to embark on new academic and professional ventures. The annual conference is well-attended by high school, college students, professionals, and educators from around the region. Students will have the opportunity to network with both industry and academia professionals.

Conference workshop sessions will include such topics as:

  • Exploring Pathways of Engineering and Science
  • Enhancing your personal development
  • Identifying and developing your leadership potential
  • Keeping Balance in a Student Life

This is a worthwhile, extremely affordable conference, not to be missed. For a small registration fee of *$15* per student, students will receive a continental breakfast, catered lunch, key note speakers and presentation, attend workshop sessions, and have the opportunity to network and learn from industry and academic professionals.

Register Today — Limited Seating Available. Registration is available now via our WISE website: http://www.engr.washington.edu/wise/conference.html.  

For more information, contact Women in Science and Engineering at uwwise@u.washington.edu or call 206-543-1770.

Pilot study awards support

Pilot study awards support for studies in: Human Variability in Response to Environmental Exposures (One year of Support @ $25,000). Sponsored by: UW Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH) (Supported by: NIEHS).

The UW’s Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH) (supported by NIEHS) will fund pilot research projects on human variability in response to environmental exposures. This includes studies on ethical, legal, or social issues related to environmental health. This year, we particularly encourage applications that propose translation or clinical research of direct relevance to a disease with a known or suspected environmental component to its etiology.

We also have funds for two pilot projects incorporating a component with autism. These projects will be for $32,000 each for one year. To apply for the autism pilot projects go to: http://www.nwiths.org/PilotProposals.htm then click on Autism Pilots.

Applications can come from investigators at or affiliated with the UW or Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and should be designed to pursue an idea, new data and novel research opportunities to obtain data that could serve as a basis for a major research grant application. Period of funding: 4/1/08–3/31/09. Funding is available for up to 4 pilot projects @ $25,000 each, per year. Junior faculty members are particularly encouraged to apply. While postdoctoral fellows cannot serve as Principal Investigators, they may get support via faculty sponsors.

To apply for the CEEH Pilot Projects: Go to our Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/ then click on Pilot Projects.

All the forms you will need are available as Word documents or PDF format documents. E-mail them to: azure@u.washington.edu attaching each of the documents or link them together in one document. Be sure your name is in the title of the document.

Selection of the Pilot Projects to be funded will be determined by the Internal Advisory Committee of the CEEH. Each of the Pilot Project proposals is reviewed by two reviewers who are experts in the area of research specified. We try to recruit an internal and external reviewer as requested by our Pilot Projects Director. Awards will be based on scientific merit for conventional applications and on scholarly merit for applications dealing with ethical, legal, or social issues pertaining to the goals of the CEEH. Page 2 of the application form requests applicants to suggest reviewers for their proposal and must be included in the proposal.

Application Deadline: 4 p.m. PST, Monday, Jan. 28. Anticipated Date of Awards Notification: Monday, March 31

Submit your ORIGINAL Documents via e-mail to: azure@u.washington.edu


State Government Efficiency Hotline
State law requires the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) to establish a toll-free telephone line that is available to public employees and members of the public to:

  • recommend measures to improve efficiency in state and local government,

  • report waste, inefficiency, or abuse,

  • report examples of efficiency or outstanding achievement by state and local agencies, public employees, or persons under contract with state and local agencies.

The SAO must conduct an initial review of each recommendation for efficiency and report of waste, inefficiency or abuse. Following the initial review, the SAO must determine which assertions require further examination or audit under the auditor’s current authority.

The hotline can be reached by:

  • Telephone: 1-800-902-3900

  • Web site: www.sao.wa.gov

  • Mail: State Auditor’s Office, Attn: Hotline, P.O. Box 40031, Olympia, WA 98504

The identity of a person making a report through the hotline, by e-mail through the SAO’s web site, or other means of communication is kept confidential unless the person consents to disclosure by written waiver or until the investigation is completed. All documents related to the report and subsequent investigation are also confidential until completion of the investigation at which time the records are subject to public records laws.

Anti-kickback, Conflict of Interest and Whistleblower Regulations
Anti-Kickback, Conflict of Interest and Whistleblower Regulations

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR 52.203-7) require the university to implement procedures designed to prevent and detect violations of the Anti-Kickback Act of 1986 (41 USC 51-58). This is published as a reminder of the policies and procedures in place at the University of Washington

1.Kickback Defined. “Kickback” as defined by FAR means any money, fee commission, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value or compensation of any kind that is provided directly or indirectly to any prime contractor, prime contractor employee, subcontractor or subcontractor employee for the purpose of improperly obtaining or rewarding favorable treatment in connection with a prime contract or in connection with a subcontract relating to a prime contract. University employees are prohibited under federal and state laws from accepting or offering kickbacks.

2. Ethics in Public Service Act. The Ethics in Public Service Act codified in Chapter 42.52 of the Revised Code of Washington prohibits State of Washington employees from accepting a gift, gratuity or additional compensation for personal services rendered as part of official duties.

Regulations published by the State Ethics Board and in University rules at <a href=http://www.washington.edu/admin/adminpro/APS/47.02.html>here</a> prohibit the use of university facilities and equipment for personal business use. E-mail and local telephones may be used for personal nonbusiness uses so long as the use is minimal and does not interfere with the carrying out of official duties. Each faculty and staff member is individually responsible for compliance with these rules.

3. Procurement Integrity Provisions. The Procurement Integrity Provisions of Public Law 100-679 (1988) prohibit university employees from offering promises of future employment, business opportunities, money, gratuities or other things of value to federal procurement agents. University employees are precluded from soliciting information about proprietary or source selection information from any federal officer or employee prior to the award of a contract. University employees responsible for a federal contract over $100,000 may be required to certify before the award that they have no information concerning a violation of the procurement integrity provisions.

4. Outside Consulting Work. Faculty and staff are required to receive prior approval from their supervisors before engaging in outside professional work for compensation. See University Handbook Vol. IV, Part V, Chapter 6 <a href=http://www.washington.edu/faculty/facsenate/handbook/04-05-06.html>here</a> and Administrative Policy Statements <a href=http://www.washington.edu/admin/adminpro/APS/47.03.html>here</a>. University facilities and resources, including computers and e-mail, may not be used in outside work.

5. Internal and Governmental Audits. Internal audits conducted by the university’s Internal Audit Department, and external audits conducted by the office of the State Auditor and the Office of Naval Research, among others, provide checks and balances to university procedures.

6. Purchasing Procedures. The Purchasing Department solicits competitive bids for most purchases on behalf of the university. Purchases may not be made by university personnel unless authorized in advance by a department employee with signature authority and by a Purchasing Department Buyer. Purchasing procedures are described <a href=http://www.washington.edu/admin/purchasing/>here</a>. No gift or benefit of any kind may be offered to or accepted by a state employee involved in the purchasing process as an inducement to buy a particular product or restrict competition. (Revised code of Washington Sections 43.19.1937 and 42.52.140.) The state ethics law also prohibits any state employee from participating in a purchasing transaction that may result in an economic benefit to themselves or to a family member. Check writing and accounting functions are conducted by Payables Administration.

Under the state ethics rules, a University employee who independently contracts with the University for the sale of goods and services may need to receive prior approval from the State Ethics Board.

7. “Whistleblower” Provisions and Protection. University employees may report improper governmental actions to the Office of the State Auditor. To encourage the reporting of improper governmental actions, employees are protected from reprisal or retaliatory action by the provisions of state law. The Whistleblower law is codified in Chapter 42.40 of the Revised Code of Washington. Procedures for reporting improper governmental actions are in the Administrative Policy Statements <a href=http://www.washington.edu/admin/adminpro/APS/47.01.html>here</a>.

Summary of the Provisions and Protections of RCW 42.40.

“Whistleblower Act” chapter 42.40 RCW was enacted to encourage employees of the State of Washington to report improper governmental actions to the State Auditor’s Office. “Improper governmental action” means any action by an employee undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties that is:

  • A gross waste of public funds of resources; or

  • In violation of federal or state law or rule if the violation is not merely technical or of a minimum nature; or

  • Of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.

“Improper governmental action” does not include personnel actions for which other remedies exist, such as employee grievances and related complaints.

In order to be investigated, an assertion of improper governmental action must be provided to the State Auditor’s Office within one year after the occurrence of the asserted improper governmental action.

Assertions of improper governmental action must be filed in writing with the State Auditor’s Office. Telephone calls are not accepted. Assertions can be reported using the Whistleblower Reporting Form or in a separate letter. In either case, the report should include:

  • A detailed description of the improper governmental action(s);

  • The name of the employee(s) involved;

  • The agency, division and location where the action(s) occurred;

  • When the action(s) occurred;

  • Any other details that may be important for the investigation – witnesses, documents, evidence, etc.;

  • The specific law or regulation that has been violated, if known;

  • The whistleblower’s name, address and phone number.

Assertions of improper governmental action may be filed anonymously. However, by providing a name and phone number, the whistleblower enables the State Auditor to gather additional information necessary for a thorough investigation. The identity of the whistleblower is kept confidential.

The Whistleblower Reporting Form is available by contacting the State Auditor’s Office at (360) 902-0377 or through the State Auditor’s Office homepage at http://www.sao.wa.gov.

The Whistleblower Reporting Form or letter should be mailed to:

Washington State Auditor’s Office, Attention: State Employee Whistleblower Program, P.O. Box 40031, Olympia, WA 98504-0031

The State Auditor’s Office has sole discretion to determine how, or if, whistleblower assertions will be investigated. The law listed factors to be considered when making this determination. The State Auditor will mail an acknowledgment to the whistleblower within five working days of receipt of the report. When the investigation has been completed, the State Auditor’s Office will send the whistleblower a letter containing a summary of the information received and the results of the investigation. If the State Auditor’s Office determines an employee has engaged in improper governmental action, it will report the nature and details of the activity to the subject(s) of the investigation, the head of the employee’s agency and, if necessary, the Attorney General or other appropriate authorities.

The law protects whistleblowers from reprisal or retaliatory action. If a whistleblower believes he or she has been the subject of such action, the whistleblower may file a claim with the Washington Human Rights Commission. The commission shall investigate the claim and take appropriate action.

A more detailed summary of the Whistleblower Law is contained in the Administrative Policy Statements <a href=http://www.washington.edu/admin/adminpro/APS/47.01.html>here</a>. You may call Internal Audit at 543-4028 if you have questions relating to any of the above.


Members of the graduate faculty are invited to attend the following examinations. Chairpersons are denoted in parentheses.

General Examinations

  • Jon-Jason M. Agnone, Sociology, Ph.D. 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Gowen Hall, 1-B. (Prof. Elizabeth Pettit).

  • Matthew Todd Bernards, Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Benson Hall, 109. (Prof. Shaoyi Jiang).

  • William S. Buckingham, Geography, Ph.D. 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. Smith Hall, 412-A. (Prof. Kam Wing Chan).

  • Anna Cavender, Computer Science and Engineering, Ph.D. 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Allen Center, CSE-305. (Prof. Richard Ladner).

  • Jane A. Dickerson, Chemistry, Ph.D. 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25. Chemistry Bldg., 239. (Prof. Norman Dovichi).

  • Louisa S. Edgerly, Communication – Department of, Ph.D. 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Communications Bldg., 102-E. (Prof. Crispin Thurlow).

  • Maryam Ganjehzadeh Rohani, Oral Biology, Ph.D. 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Health Sciences B-228. (Prof. Beverly Dale-Crunk & Prof. Whasun Chung).

  • Michael Goff, Mathematics, Ph.D. 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Padelford Hall, C-401. (Prof. Isabella Novik).

  • Robin J. Greene, Classics, Ph.D. 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Denny Hall, 210. (Prof. James Clauss).

  • Allison Beth Hintz, Education, Ph.D. 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25. Miller Hall, 122-H. (Prof. Elham Kazemi).

  • Caterina M. Johnston Goodstar, Social Work, Ph.D. 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. Social Work 210F. (Prof. Karina Walters).

  • Richard Matthew Justin, Social Work, Ph.D. 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. Social Work, Dean’s Conference Room. (Prof. Susan Kemp).

  • Kathryn Ann Mobrand, Technical Communication, Ph.D. 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. Loew 355. (Prof. Jan Spyridakis).

  • Gillian Hughes Murphy, Sociology, Ph.D. 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. Condon Hall, 201. (Profs. Steven Pfaff &Margaret Levi).

  • Samuel E. Nutt, Neurobiology and Behavior, Ph.D. 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. Ctr. On Human Dev. & Dis., CD-150. (Prof. Philip Horner).

  • Mark Gerald Pitner, Asian Languages and Literature, Ph.D. 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Gowen Hall, M-230. (Prof. David Knechtges).

  • Brian L. Polagye, Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D. 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Mechanical Engineering 219. (Prof. Philip Malte).

  • Amirreza Rahmani, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Ph.D. noon Friday, Jan. 18. Guggenheim Hall, 211-D. (Prof. Mehran Mesbahi).

  • Wei Shi, Civil And Environmental Engineering, Ph.D. 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. More Hall, 218. (Prof. Mark Benjamin).

Final Examinations

  • Gary Adam Cox-Mobrand, Physics, Ph.D. 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. CENPA/NPL, 178. “Detector integrity and electronic calibrations for the neutral current detector phase measurement of the 88 solar neutrino flux at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory” (Prof. John Wilkerson).

  • Patricia Ann Goedde, Law, Ph.D. 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30. William H. Gates hall, 441. “How and to what extent activist lawyers have mobilized the law for social and political change: 1988-2007?” (Prof. Veronica Taylor).

  • John Byong Tek Lee, Business School, Ph.D. 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. Mackenzie hall, 367. “Higher idiosyncratic moments and the cross-section of expected stock returns” (Prof. Avraham Kamara).

  • Scott W. Payseur, Economics, Ph.D. 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Condon Hall, 309. “Essays in realized covariance estimation” (Prof. Eric Zivot).

  • Dorin Popa, Psychology, Ph.D. 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28. Guthrie Hall, 211. “Neural edge integration model of achromatic color perception” (Profs. Steven Buck & Robert Abrams).

  • Erin N. Smith, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ph.D. 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30. FHCRC, Pelton Auditorium. “Gene-environment interaction in yeast gene expression” (Prof. Maynoard Olson).

  • Michelle Sabrina Steen, Physiology and Biophysics, Ph.D. 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Health Sciences, D-209. “Analyses of alpha-dystrobrevin-null mice implicate Niemann-Pick C1 in muscular dystrophy” (Prof. Stanley Froehner).

  • Richard Makoto Tada, History, Ph.D. 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. Smith Hall, 320. “Apollodorus of Artemita and the rise of the Parthian Empire” (Prof. Carol Thomas).