Two Foundations Help High Tech Programs Retain, Recruit Faculty

The UW's Department of Computer Science and Engineering is among the best in the nation. Recent gifts from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Washington Research Foundation are going to help make it even stronger.

A $3 million gift from the Gates Foundation will create two endowed chairs, the first in the department. "The Bill and Melinda Gates Chairs in Computer Science will dramatically enhance our ability to recruit and retain distinguished faculty," says Professor Ed Lazowska, head of the department. "They are wonderful resources for our future."

"The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is one of the jewels of the University of Washington," says UW President Richard L. McCormick. "It is one of our strongest graduate and research programs, ranked among the top 10 in the nation. It is also a model for integrating research and teaching. The department's outreach activities, ranging from K-12 education to entrepreneurship, have enormous impact on this region. This gift comes at a critical time in the history of the department, when faculty recruitment and retention are increasingly challenging, and when creating new facilities for the department is the University's top priority for capital fund-raising."

In August, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering received a $500,000 gift for an endowed professorship from the Washington Research Foundation, a private non-profit organization that helps bring university research to the marketplace. The professorship honors Thomas J. Cable, a founding board member of the WRF and venture capitalist who helped to nurture many local technology companies. Cable and his wife, Barbara, won the 1996 UW Recognition Award (see Columns, June 1996, "The Best of 1996") for their service to the UW.

The research foundation also honored another founding board member, W. Hunter Simpson, '49, with a gift to the UW law school for an endowed professorship in technology law. Simpson, retired president of Physio-Control Corp., is a pioneer in developing high-technology industry in this state and a former regent of the University. Simpson won the 1993 UW Recognition Award for his contributions to the UW.

"We are very grateful to Bill and Melinda Gates and to the Washington Research Foundation for these splendid investments in our faculty," said McCormick.

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