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The coming year will be my last as UW president

For almost 40 years, the University of Washington has been my home, and our shared mission of education, discovery, health care and impact for the public good has been my purpose. Next year, when my second five-year term concludes, I plan to step down from the role of president and return to my faculty position. There are several University priorities I want to advance over the coming year, and I’m going to spend that time fully focused on those efforts. I’m sharing this news — which I have long planned in partnership with the UW’s Board of Regents — to ensure a smooth leadership transition when the time comes.

Serving as president of the UW is a joy and a privilege, including through some very tumultuous periods and transformative events that have shaped our University and our world. I’m incredibly proud of the amazing impact that UW faculty, staff, students and alumni create throughout our community, state and world, and I’m deeply grateful to be a Husky.

Our world faces serious challenges, including here in Washington. The UW is a vital resource that prepares students for professional opportunities and lives that change the world. In the coming year, I will continue to focus on ensuring and expanding educational access for students across our state, regardless of their background or resources. This will also be an important year in the evolution of our “impact ecosystem.” By leveraging our interdisciplinary expertise, research and innovation in collaboration with business, government and community organizations, our University is uniquely positioned to tackle challenges like population health, climate change and inequality, and I will be working to solidify and advance this work. And as a public university, we rely on public support to fuel our public mission, and so I will also be focused on advocating for forward-looking investment in students and our institution by the state legislature in the coming year’s budget session.

There will be time for farewells later. My energy, enthusiasm and attention are squarely focused on our public mission and on the students, patients and communities the UW has served for so many generations. Throughout the remainder of my term – and my life – I will do everything in my power to ensure the UW continues to support learning, discovery and service now and for all the generations to come.