January 16, 2017
Pursuing the ideals of a more perfect union
This week begins and ends with two important days in the civic life of our nation: Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Inauguration Day. In many ways, these two days represent two sides of the same coin. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we celebrate the life of a man who used advocacy, peaceful protest…
January 9, 2017
Reconnecting with Cuba, and Cubans, was a joy
This past weekend marked a milestone in Cuban-American relations as Alaska Airlines began the first regular commercial service from the West Coast to Cuba. I was deeply honored to be invited on the inaugural flight to Havana, where I was born. I’m still processing the trip, but wanted to share a few of my impressions with the UW community along with some photos from that beautiful city.
December 21, 2016
Reflecting on the best of UW
The end of each year is a time to look back at victories and milestones, to remember friends and family and reflect on what we’ve learned. It’s also a time to look ahead — with optimism and determination — toward the possibilities that the new year holds. For the University of Washington, 2016 was an…
December 19, 2016
The test of free expression is protecting speech that offends (Updated)
I want to state clearly, especially to the thousands of people who have contacted my office with concerns about an upcoming visit by a speaker known for racist and misogynist provocation, that we understand and empathize with their objections and frustration. Nonetheless, the right to free speech and expression is broad and allows for speech that is offensive and that most of us would consider disrespectful, and even sexist or racist. As a public university committed to the free exchange of ideas and free expression, we are obligated to uphold this right.
December 15, 2016
The Henry M. Jackson/William Van Ness Lectures on Leadership
Recently, I had the honor of giving this year’s Henry M. Jackson/ William Van Ness Lecture on Leadership. The annual event honors Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who represented Washington state with the honor and distinction as a U.S. Congressman and Senator for more than four decades, and Bill Van Ness, the immediate past president of the Jackson Foundation who worked closely with Senator Jackson.
December 5, 2016
Welcoming the residents of Tent City 3
Fast Facts Selected location: Parking lot W35 When: 90 days, starting December 17, 2016, so as to largely coincide with the 2017 winter quarter Community feedback at least 2-to-1 in favor Hosting is based on safety and operations plan requirements, and a permit has been received from the city Up to 99 people – families…
November 17, 2016
A safe and welcoming place for all
In the week since the presidential election, many in our university have come together to engage in peaceful gatherings, public forums and other forms of community engagement within residence halls, departments and other groupings across campus. Participation in difficult discussions as well as celebrations of our shared humanity represent the best of who we are, the ideals of our democracy, and demonstrate how, by working together, we can continue to build a better future — the heart of our institutional mission.
November 9, 2016
Our shared ideals
In the aftermath of this very close and highly contentious election, I want to take this moment to reaffirm our University’s commitment to our mission of education, discovery, healing and public service. I also want to reaffirm our ongoing and unwavering support toward creating and nurturing an inclusive, diverse and welcoming community. It is central to…
October 25, 2016
Announcing a transformative gift for the UW’s Population Health Initiative
I am humbled to announce that the UW’s Population Health Initiative has received a transformative gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a gift that will accelerate our work to improve human health, environmental resiliency, and social and economic equity here and around the world.
October 20, 2016
A message to faculty & staff: You make the UW what it is
Today, Jerry and I were very pleased to take an opportunity to send a message to all the dedicated faculty and staff of the UW about just how important they are to the University, to our students’ success and to the impact – near and far – that we have as an institution. Below is our message which we think is worth sharing as widely as possible.