Office of the President

April 27, 2010

Announcement from President Emmert

University of Washington

Dear UW students, faculty, and staff:

It is with very mixed emotions that I am writing to let you know that today I have accepted the presidency of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.  When I came home to the University of Washington in 2004, I knew there was no other university that I would want to be president of, and that remains true today after the six wonderful years DeLaine and I have enjoyed serving our alma mater.  I am proud of the work we have done together and absent this truly extraordinary opportunity would have been happy continuing as president for many years to come.

The NCAA is one of the nation’s most influential collegiate organizations.  Leading it offers a chance to shape the educational and athletic experiences of over 400,000 young people and to work with more than 1,200 universities, colleges and conferences to make intercollegiate sports a competitive, healthy, integral part of the growth and maturation of student-athletes. It also presents a new set of challenges for me. I am very excited about taking on these challenges and the opportunity to work with so many university and college presidents.

To my friends, colleagues, and students of the University of Washington, I offer a special word of thanks and appreciation. It has been my honor to serve you.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished together these past six years.  Our university is a special place–by any measure one of the world’s leading research universities–because of all of you and the work you perform every day.  I cannot thank you enough for your dedication, energy and enthusiasm.  It is never a good time to leave one great job for another.  I relish the challenges at the NCAA but will always love my time here.  DeLaine and I always have been, and always will be, Huskies for life.


Mark Emmert

  • KT

    Good luck, you’ve done a great job for the university.



  • LB

    you have GOT to be kidding me!

  • Susan Lael

    Thank you for your leadership and service; I genuinely appreciate the contributions you have made to the UW. While I am sad to hear that you are leaving us, I have to say this sounds like your dream job; You must know the “secret”!

  • Mark Stoelinga

    I appreciate your excellent service to the UW to date, but must admit I am pretty disappointed. I had high hopes you would commit to UW for the long-term, since you had local roots…maybe even retire from here like Pres. Gerberding. Guess I was naive.

  • AB

    This is Sad…

  • MM

    No more nickel and diming from the Legislature for less than 18% funding. That has to be nice.

  • Bruce Miller

    Regardless of President Emmert’s leadership over the last several years, I’m afraid that his departure fits a pattern we see all too often, and that sets a bad example for future leaders – A skilled leader accepts a new position and asserts his/her virtually undying commitment to the organization. The leader extracts, or is provided with a generous compensation package filled with incentives to help ensure that the leader fulfills his or her hoped for potential. After a relatively short period, the leader leaves for an even higher paying opportunity amid anguished statements of how difficult the decision to leave was.

    This University faces a challenging future that will require the enduring commitment of the kind of strong and creative leader that is hard to find.

    The president’s decision brings to mind an analogy with military leadership. Regardless of what one thinks of the Iraq war, how would history view General Petraeus as a leader if at the height of conflict, when things were at their worst, he had resigned his commission from the Army to become CEO of Haliburton?

    Regrettably, when this institution’s need for strong leadership is at its greatest President Emmert has failed it.

  • C

    Thank you for your distinguished service to the University. Your significant talents have been put to good use for education and for our research institution which makes a real difference in the world while also driving part of the state economy. These are things that truly matter. Now you’ll follow the money to a new position focusing not on things that matter but on how more money can be made from college athletics. What a waste.