UW Today

February 12, 2015

UW Regents name Provost and Executive Vice President Ana Mari Cauce interim president

News and Information

University of Washington Provost and Executive Vice President Ana Mari Cauce was named interim president by the Board of Regents at their regular meeting on Thursday. Her appointment will be effective March 2, 2015. She succeeds President Michael K. Young, who is leaving the UW for Texas A&M University.

Interim President Designate Ana Mari Cauce.

Interim President Designate Ana Mari Cauce.University of Washington.

“Dr. Cauce is an extraordinary leader of our University – a person who is known throughout our community for her straightforward and accessible leadership, extraordinary intellect, plain-spoken common sense, honesty, sense of justice, and deep dedication to the University of Washington, its students, faculty, staff and those the University serves,” said Bill Ayer, chair of the Board of Regents. “At a time when the university is thriving but also faces pressures regarding the role and funding of higher education, we believe Ana Mari Cauce is the perfect choice to lead the University forward.”

In her role as president, Cauce will continue the work she has been doing as provost and executive vice president.

“Both she and President Young have acknowledged there hasn’t been a major decision over the past three years that she hasn’t been a part of,” Ayer said. “This was, in many ways, an easy decision for the Regents, one that ensures a smooth transition and enables the University to continue its tremendous momentum, with a strong focus on the important initiatives underway.”

“I am humbled and honored to be named as the interim president of the University I love and consider my home,” said Cauce.  “We have great momentum and important work to continue — to accelerate. I look forward to working with our Regents, faculty, staff, students and supporters to continue our progress — for our state, for our students, and for countless people here and around the world whose lives are changed by the UW.

“We are at a moment in time when all of public higher education in Washington must work together to ensure we provide both excellence and affordability for our students. I look forward to working with our state leaders and all of our community to address the challenges we face, together.”

Born in Cuba, where her father was the minister of education, she left Cuba with her family during the revolution, when she was 3 years old. She grew up in Miami, where both her parents took jobs in shoe factories, hoping they could return to Cuba. Both placed a very high value on the power of education.

Cauce joined the UW faculty in 1986 as an assistant professor of psychology after earning degrees in English and psychology from the University of Miami in 1977, summa cum laude, and a Ph.D. in psychology, with a concentration in Child Clinical and Community Psychology from Yale University in 1984.

Cauce is professor of psychology and American ethnic studies. She holds adjunct professor appointments in the department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and the College of Education. She has held numerous leadership positions at the UW, including director of the UW Honors Program, chair of American Ethnic Studies, chair of Psychology, executive vice provost, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

For the past three years, she has served as the university’s chief academic officer, responsible for overseeing the education, research, and service missions in the university’s schools, colleges and other academic units, including Academic and Student Affairs. As the UW’s chief budgetary officer, she has also been responsible for resource allocations and has worked closely with the president on strategic planning and long-term decision-making.

Cauce maintains an active research program, focusing on adolescent development, with a special emphasis on at-risk youth. She is also active in encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She has received numerous awards for her scholarship, teaching, and activism, including the much-prized University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award. She remains active in the classroom and continues to teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

Cauce’s annual salary will be $524,784.