UW News

November 1, 2007

Then and now: 1990 was year one for branch campuses, evening degree program

This school year, University Week, the UW campus newspaper for faculty and staff, turns 25 years old. To note the occasion, throughout the year we’ll revisit some stories from our past, in no particular chronological order, and then provide a brief update on how things have changed over our quarter-century, and counting.

THEN: The story ran in University Week on Sept. 27, 1990, under the headline “Branch campuses, evening degree program swing doors open for first students.” It began, “August, the traditional vacation month, was anything but that for the Bothell and Tacoma branch campuses’ faculty members — men and women who have spent the last weeks of summer indoors in serial meetings hammering out proposed two-year curriculums for the new campuses.” Community ties were being formed, too, as branch campus leaders met with community groups and service clubs such as Rotary.

The story continued, “Telephones, fax machines and furniture were delivered last week and advisers were busy counseling students — 300 expected at Tacoma and close to 200 at Bothell for fall, Just in time for the classroom doors to open on Oct. 1.” The Evening Degree Program was preparing to debut, too: “There have been more than 360 applicants to … the Evening Degree Program on the Seattle campus. More than 300 students will begin this bachelor of arts degree program in October.”

NOW: In the 17 years since that UWeek story, the branch campuses and the Evening Degree Program have thrived. UW Bothell and UW Tacoma started offering bachelor’s degrees in the fall of the 2006/07 year. And of course there is now talk of another branch campus somewhere to the north.

According to numbers from the Academic Data Management Office, UW Bothell has 1,604 undergraduates and 274 graduate students, totaling 1,878. UW Tacoma has 2,181 undergraduates and 472 graduate students, totaling 2,653.

UW Bothell offers a host of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and plans to add a master’s degree in cultural studies and a new concentration in accounting come the fall of 2008. Kenyon S. Chan took over as chancellor in July of 2007. The campus now claims about 7,200 alumni in all. At UW Tacoma, Patricia Spakes has been chancellor since 2005.

As for faculty and staff, the UW “Factbook” Web site lists a total of 196 full-time and 67 part-time employees at Bothell; at UW Tacoma, there are 244 full-time and 90 part-time employees.

The Evening Degree Program has flourished, too, according to Alison Koop, the program’s public relations manager. The program offers undergraduate degrees in communication, English, health informatics and health information management, social science and humanties. And it administers fully 26 different graduate degrees. Evening degrees are fee-based (not subject to Tuition Exemption for employees) and are designed for working adults. This fall, there are 314 undergraduate students enrolled in the Evening Degree Program, and 1,432 graduate students.