Office of the President

October 1, 2010

Welcome to the new academic year


Dear Members of the UW Community:

Welcome to a new academic year at the University of Washington. The start of a new year inevitably brings with it a sense of excitement and expectation, as well as a number of changes. One significant change for our community is in the president’s office, where I am serving as president this year. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead our University at this critical juncture.

Since the Board of Regents announced last July that they were appointing me to this position, I have taken every opportunity I can to talk with people both in and outside the University about what we must do to continue to be able to contribute to the well-being of our state. In the coming days, weeks, and months, I hope to have a chance to talk with many more of you.

The year ahead holds a number of challenges, not the least of which is our constrained state budget, including the 6.3% cut that the governor announced for all state agencies last month.

Information about what this latest cut means for specific units will be forthcoming in the next several weeks. The budget clearly is our most urgent issue, and Interim Provost Mary Lidstrom and I intend to do all we can to see that you have everything you need to continue the important work you do. We will be working tirelessly to convey the importance of protecting higher education funding in the next legislative session, focusing on the broad range of contributions the UW makes to Washington’s citizens and how we can be part of finding solutions to our state’s problems.

In all that we do, we need to be mindful that the decisions we make today about how we manage our resources will affect the kind of university we will be 20 years from now. We must move forward with key initiatives and opportunities that will help guide our University toward a sustainable future. One of these initiatives is Two Years to Two Decades, or 2y2d, which is designed to position the University 20 years from now to continue to attract the best faculty, students and staff and to solve the most critical challenges to society.

The UW presidential search is also moving forward with a series of stakeholder events scheduled for the fall. You can see the schedule of events and read about other details related to the search on the UW presidential search website.

I look forward to working with all of you to make the UW an even better place.


Image of Phyllis Wise's signature
Phyllis Wise
Interim President