State Relations

August 31, 2007

It’s August and the Postings are Light

The “dog days” of summer are upon us and the postings are indeed light.  I’ve been in B.C. the past couple of days meeting with some higher education officials from our neighbor to the north (more about that in the next posting), but I hope most of you saw the announcement this week about the more recent developments in the UW North Puget Sound site selection process.

As reported in Thursday’s Everett Herald, the UW and OFM (working with NBBJ consultants) has reduced the original list of potential UW North campus sites from 73 to nine.  Six of these sites are in Marysville, two in Everett and one in Arlington.  What they have in common, though, is proximity to Interstate 5 and other forms of transportation and they are all relatively close to work opportunities, particularly for future students of the new campus who will be expected to include at least one experiential learning opportunity outside the university as part of their academic experience.

The UW’s academic planning group has concluded that such experiential learning opportunities are critical to preparing student’s to be successful in the 21st century competitive marketplace and UW campuses in Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma are already implementing these changes within their own respective campus environments.  In addition, research gathered as part of the academic planning effort has found that a significant majority of these future students will be working at least part-time, so proximity to other retail and service sector job opportunities are also important in siting the new campus.

The next site selection phase will focus in more detail on these nine sites as well as requesting additional site submittals from the communities between Arlington and Everett within five miles of I-5.