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Gov. Gregoire’s 2012 supplemental budget proposal

Dear Members of the University Community:Today, the governor released her 2012 supplemental budget proposal to address an additional $2 billion shortfall for the current state biennial budget. As we expected, the proposed budget represents difficult choices for our state and real impacts to Washington’s citizens. The budget proposal includes an additional 17% budget reduction for the UW (approximately $38 million), but most importantly, it also includes tax proposals that if adopted would restore the $38 million cut. Other cuts in the budget have impacts on the University, most notably, $26.5 million in grants for hospitals that provide a significant amount of charity care, particularly the University of Washington health system.

As we are all aware, over the past three years, state funding for the University of Washington has been cut in half. Continuing to rely on steep tuition increases, job losses and reduced access to address state budget challenges is not sustainable. Our students and families and faculty and staff deserve better. A budget that relies only on further reductions without considering revenues would be harmful to our economy and the future of Washington state.

That is why I’m both pleased and grateful that Gov. Gregoire has chosen to take a balanced approach to addressing the present fiscal crisis. By prioritizing investments in higher education, the governor has clearly demonstrated her strong commitment to a better future for our citizens. I recognize that this budget proposal does not solve all of our challenges, and many of the cuts in this budget will be painful for our citizens. However, by proposing a pathway to prevent further deterioration in state funding for higher education, it represents a strong step on the road to economic recovery.

There is still a long, difficult road ahead. November 28th marks the start of the legislative special session, when Gov. Gregoire’s proposal will be taken up, along with other ideas for balancing the state budget. There will be no quick and easy fix to the problem. The University of Washington supports a fair and balanced approach to addressing the state’s budget crisis, and we are committed to working productively with the state legislature in the months ahead.


Michael K. Young's signature
Michael K. Young

Announcement of the Preferred Candidate for UW Provost

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

It is with great pleasure that I write to you today to identify Dr. Ana Mari Cauce as my preferred candidate for University Provost. As a long-time member of the UW faculty and as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Ana Mari is, of course, well known to many in our University community. She is a distinguished scholar and a seasoned leader. Her emergence through this exclusively internal search strongly confirms my initial belief that a dedicated and talented provost could be found within the existing faculty of this great institution.

As the penultimate step in this selection process, I will be working with Ana Mari to set up one or more opportunities for members of the University community to hear her discuss her plans as our chief academic officer, to ask questions, and to share with me any feedback you would like me to consider. This public process will take place prior to any formal confirmation of this appointment.

Many of you are aware that as the primary means of public participation in this selection process I had intended to rely on the broad composition of the Provost Search Committee—comprising faculty, staff, and students—and its solicitation of ideas from all of you. And the committee took this duty very seriously, conducting a University-wide survey and holding fifteen public meetings across our three campuses to hear from faculty, staff, and students on the qualities they hoped to see in our new provost. The committee spent hundreds of hours listening to the views of members of our community.

The extent to which provost finalists are made public, if at all, has varied over the history of the UW and continues to be handled in a variety of ways by the UW’s world-class peers. For this strictly internal search, I felt that the advantages of the open identification of one or more finalists were outweighed by the prospect of losing good candidates. I have, however, recently received a number of messages from faculty—many of them quite thoughtful—suggesting that the faculty at large at least be given a chance to review and comment on my preferred choice for this important position. Recognizing that they are offered with the University’s best interests in mind, I have taken these suggestions to heart and decided to create the additional public step I have described above. I trust it will add value to this process and help put the new Provost in the best position to undertake her duties.

Finally, I am deeply grateful to the Search Committee for its hard work and diligence in assessing the many qualified candidates that came to its attention and for enabling us to move ahead so swiftly to fill this leadership position during this challenging time. I also appreciate those of you who took the time to offer me your considered views and thoughts on the best approach to completing this process.


Michael K. Young