Board of Regents

Alexes Harris

Alexes Harris

Alexes Harris, Ph.D., is the Presidential Term Professor and Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington.  Dr. Harris’ work has spanned the criminal legal system, including juvenile, case processing outcomes, and monetary sanctions.  Her research fundamentally centers on issues of inequality, poverty and race in United States’ legal systems. Her book, A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as a Punishment for the Poor details the ways in which sentenced fines and fees put an undue burden on disadvantaged populations and place them under even greater supervision of the criminal legal system. Her research has extended this line of research in eight states with funding from Arnold Ventures.  Her current work examines the loss of driver’s licenses as a result of unpaid fines and fees, and also understanding recent legislative impacts on sentencing decisions and outcomes.

Dr. Harris has been appointed to serve on several federal advisory boards and has also been called to testify for numerous state and federal governing bodies about inequalities in the criminal legal system and sentencing (including speaking at the White House on the issue of poverty and criminal justice).  Dr. Harris was inducted into the Washington State Academy of Sciences (2017) and is the chair of the Washington State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (2017-current).  She has been acknowledged for her teaching with the University of Washington’s highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award (2018).  She has also worked with UW Athletics as a member of the Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics since 2011 and has served as the Chair from 2014-2019.  In 2019, Dr. Harris was appointed by President Cauce as the UW Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR).  In 2021, she was appointed to serve as Special Assistant to the Provost at the University of Washington and serves as the Director of the Faculty Development Program (FDP), a mentoring and training program for incoming assistant professors who identify as members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic community or are first generation scholars. Most recently, in 2022 Professor Harris was appointed by Washington Governor Inslee to be the first Faculty Regent to sit on the University of Washington Board of Regents.

Alexes Harris is a local Seattleite, she graduated from Garfield High School in 1993 and earned her B.A degree from the University of Washington in 1997 and received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002. She served as a researcher in a post doc position in the sociology department at UW from 2002-2004, and has been a professor at the University of Washington since 2004, promoted to full professor in 2016.

  • Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee
  • Awaiting Senate Confirmation
  • Term:  October 21, 2022 to September 30, 2025