UW Bothell was founded by 13 visionary faculty; each extraordinarily talented and entrepreneurial.
"Drawn to the Pacific Northwest, people pulled up from all over the country to create a branch campus... The group of thirteen included a program director, two senior faculty members, nine junior faculty members, and one librarian:
- Constantin Behler
- Lauren Benton
- Paul Bernard
- Jane Decker
- JoLynn Edwards
- Cynthia Fugate
- Jeanne Heuving
- Dan Jacoby
- Patrick Morris
- Cynthia Price
- Ramon Sanchez
- Robert Shultz
- Alan Wood
Involved in the planning needs as well as institution-building from the get-go, people shared an intrigue with the challenge, opportunity, and risk inherent in creating a new university. It is no surprise that people who answered this call brought a wealth of ideas, energy, and conviction. While no one recognized-or imagined-the expanding configurations to come and the enormity of the work involved in organizing and structuring this place of higher education, they eagerly accepted this unknown and promising entity."
Lifelines of Transformation: University of Washington History Project
Rose, Norman J. and Pfitzenmeier, Dyan
Our surviving founding faculty were asked to reflect on their tenure at UW Bothell and what attracted them to the campus. Below are a few of their comments.
When I think back over the last (and first) twenty years of this campus, I am often reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s remark that the success of the Continental Congress was due not so much to the genius of any one individual as it was to the collective gifts of all the members. Nothing could be more true of our own experience.
We were, and are (and here I most emphatically include staff as well as faculty), a community of individuals with diverse strengths and weaknesses and with strong personalities. Though we have frequently disagreed, we have nevertheless always managed to find common ground in a mutual commitment to students.
To build a new campus within the framework of an already existing university, and to do so without a whole lot of resources, or time for planning, or a clear vision at the beginning of the ultimate goal, has not been easy. It has been like white-water rafting while simultaneously designing and building the raft. That we not only pulled it off, but did so with an enduring sense of community, is due to a handful of founding administrators in the first decade of the campus who deserve a truckload of recognition and gratitude.
Among them are Jack Keating (who was chair of the original faculty search committee and then led the two new campuses in the first few years of their existence), Cynthia Fugate (whose wit and extraordinary judgment about people, along with a rare gift for administration, got us over many bumps in the road), Norm Rose (who was our first and only Bothell campus dean, and who by his integrity and commitment to students set the future course for the campus as a whole), Jane Decker (who led IAS with humor and grace and grit through the early years), Anne Loustau (who healed many of our early wounds), Stan Slater (who built the Business program with humanity, humor, and wisdom), Bob Schultz (who hammered out the structure of the faculty organization and shaped the community that ensued), Jane Van Galen (who steered the Education program through the first few years), Bill Erdly (who started the CSS program from scratch in record time), Amy Maki (who set up student affairs with heart), and Sue Harvey (who with Amy Van Dyke performed miracles of finance and administration), and so many, many more.
Their legacy has been profound, and continues to influence our interactions in ways that are probably invisible to those who have joined the campus more recently. Yet we are very much in their debt.
As my colleagues have reminded me, I took my position at UWB because I needed a real job. The real question is why UWB hired me. Perhaps, they are still wondering about that. The truth is that somehow I had managed to survive in academia despite a very poor socialization.
I disliked the idea that universities put research before teaching, and that teaching was often aimed at producing abilities that made students better researchers than people. Whatever the reason, Seattle professors generously gave time to listen to an endless array of young interdisciplinary scholars promenading into job interviews where we presented our teaching and research. We came in groups, 12 candidates in each of four separate batches. Our audiences were frequently invisible as many UW search team watched our videotaped presentations unable to attend all the events necessary to keep up.
But the 1990s was the period in time when America was worried about Japanese competition, when the nation feared that its workers were too unskilled to engage in successful and flexible production and too unable to collaborate with diverse group. Colleges and universities everywhere were being asked to shore up the basics from math to communication skills. I suppose I was lucky that these were issues that directly concerned my research and teaching while they simultaneously spoke to my life circumstances.
I had taught at an elite private women’s college, a major public university, a minor state college, a well-regarded regional private teaching colleges, several community colleges and a private comprehensive institution. In short, I had been around the block and knew something of the differences in colleges and universities, and also of the reforms then afoot.
From the get-go, UWB has had to deal with all the cross-currents inherent in higher education. At a time when communities were talking about a seamless education from kindergarten to college (K-20), we were designed as yet another seam that needed to be stitched into the great melange of academic institutions. But what UWB most represented to me was the possibility of a blank educational slate: a place where creative faculty could come and design new approaches to learning. Over these past 20 years, the idea of a blank slate has faded somewhat, but the space and fabulous opportunity to rethink, design and build anew has never failed.
UW Bothell Founding Faculty
Back Row: John. P. Keating, Constantin Behler, Cindy Price, Alan Wood, Dan Jacoby, Patrick Morris, Ramon Sanchez Front Row: Jane Decker, Jeanne Heuving, JoLynn Edwards, Robert Schultz, Paul Bernard. Not Pictured: Cynthia Fugate, Lauren Benton