Colleague, friend and "Founding Faculty" member Jane E. Decker passed away on February 21, 2008. Professor Decker served in many roles at UW Bothell, including founding program director for Liberal Studies 1990-1997, interim program director for Nursing 1995-1996, associate dean for academic planning 1996-2004 and interim vice chancellor for academic affairs 2002-2004. She had also been a professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences since UW Bothell's founding in 1990 and professor in the Master of Arts in Policy Studies program since 2001. Her most notable role was as a member of the twelve "Founding Faculty," given the task of creating a curriculum for the new campus when it opened its doors in 1990. In this capacity, Decker led the charge for creating an interdisciplinary focus for UW Bothell, cherishing the idea of interdisciplinarity and replacing the standard structures of the typical university.
Professor Decker believed in access to education for everyone, and was especially drawn to returning and first generation students. She was committed to the notion that education can transform peoples' lives, in part by expanding their horizons. For example, she promoted global awareness by offering short study abroad experiences that could accommodate the schedules of returning students who worked full time.
Decker's scholarship was on Irish cultural heritage in the age of the European Union. Importantly, her contribution to Irish studies also reached and touched Irish and wider European audiences: policy makers, the academics and local people alike. This exemplary ambassadorship presents a wonderful legacy of opportunity to her cherished UW Bothell students and faculty.
A memorial site has been created and members of the community may submit comments and memories to http://depts.washington.edu/uwb/janedecker/.
Decker can also be honored through a gift to the UW Bothell Founders Fund. The fund supports students, faculty and staff in the advancement of teaching and learning activities. Donations to the fund can be made online at www.uwb.edu/support or by check payable to UW Bothell and mailed to:
UW Bothell Office of Development
Bothell, WA 98011-8246