Undergraduate Academic Affairs

September 26, 2017

Welcome from Vice Provost and Dean Ed Taylor

Ed Taylor

Dear Friends of Undergraduate Academic Affairs,

Portrait of Ed TaylorUndergraduate Academic Affairs can point to many benchmarks as a foundation that grounds our work — the 20th anniversaries of the Mary Gates Endowment for Students and Undergraduate Research Symposium last year, and the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center are among them. With that solid work under us, our charge has always been to forecast into the future in anticipation of challenges we know will come, and opportunities we know will go hand-in-hand with those challenges.

Our work will inevitably involve students who are as talented as UW students have ever been, who face very complex issues in our nation and in relation to one another, and are capable of doing tremendous good now and into their future.

Some issues made more explicit in recent times include the problem of poverty; the challenge of living well in urban or rural communities; the challenge of being housed or unhoused by virtue of affordability or tragedy; the challenge of the public discourse of what constitutes citizenship, who gets to be a citizen and who gets to call our campus, city, or state “home.”

I think about our unit’s commitments to disciplined inquiry and common humanity in the context of these and so many other issues. These commitments are demonstrated by the way we:

  • Challenge our students to think well about issues from multiple perspectives and toward some resolution and common good.
  • Ask our students to engage locally and globally so our life on campus is inherently connected to the day-to-day lives of people in the community. Therefore, asking research questions and engaging in knowledge in the classroom are never abstract ideas, but tied to real issues, real lives, real moments in time.

UAA is comprised of many units and cares for many aspects of undergraduates’ academic experiences. Our work within UAA and out across the University is tied together and interdependent. Research, service and scholarship go hand in hand. The first-year experience, and students’ transitions through to declaring a major and graduating into lives outside the University are one and the same. Leadership, service and ethics all serve the same purpose: To become a more thoughtful and compassionate public.

What will our community and our world most need 20 years from now? What will be the pressing issues for students as they grow and mature? What skills and habits of heart and mind will they most need to do well in the world? None of us can say for certain. But I believe we draw nearer to the answers by serving and educating with imagination, persistence, hope and verve.


Ed Taylor's Signature




Ed Taylor
Vice Provost and Dean
Undergraduate Academic Affairs

College of Education