October 1, 2010

Message from Vice Provost and Dean Ed Taylor, September 2010

By Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Dear UAA Colleagues,

Welcome to the start of the academic year. For some of you, that means welcome back to campus but for some, your work is most intensive in the summer and just leading up to fall quarter.

This summer freshmen, transfer students, and parents were welcomed into the Husky family by our First Year Programs colleagues. Undergraduate researchers from the UW and institutions across the country participated in another outstanding Amgen Scholars program. New faculty were welcomed into and oriented to the ins and outs of the UW through the Teaching Academy’s Faculty Fellows program. The first cohort of students in the Pipeline Project’s expansion in Neah Bay began their work.

In addition to all that, construction on the first floor of Mary Gates Hall began and will continue through fall quarter. This is the first phase of the work in which we and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity will co-locate to better serve our students.

The coming year will be busy. The Honors Program will begin implementation of its new curriculum that calls upon Honors students to take a more active and reflective role in their education and emphasizes experiential education. First Year Programs will be working with nearly 3,000 freshmen through Freshmen Interest Groups.? The Teaching Academy began the year with Faculty Fellows, orienting nearly 90 new faculty members to the University of Washington. By all accounts, the program was outstanding. The impact matters when you consider that, collectively, these faculty members will be teaching thousands of undergraduates. Through this year, the Teaching Academy will be solidifying its work as a component in the UW Center for Teaching and Learning.

The backdrop of all this will also be one of constricting resources as the impact of the recent economic downturn continues to influence our work. These external factors make it all the more important for us to be able to articulate what we do, why it matters, who is affected, and the scale, reach, and impact of our work. I am confident that we will continue to rise to these challenges and serve students, our campus, and community well. Put simply, it’s what we do because of who we are.

When I think of people who have served students well over distinguished careers, one person who comes to mind is Ran Hennes, the former associate director of the Honors Program. On September 13, Ran passed away due to lymphoma. Ran was a kind, committed, and caring force in the Honors Program since 1972 and he will be missed by staff, students, and alumni. Information about his memorial service is here. May the legacy of his work continue to inspire students in the many years to come.

To paraphrase the late Senator Ted Kennedy from 2008, this fall, we again pass the torch to a new generation of students. “The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.”

Let’s continue our good work together.

Sincerely,

Ed Taylor's Signature

Ed Taylor
Vice Provost and Dean

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