Meet UW Bothell’s new dean of student affairs

Tim WilsonBy Zachary Nelson
Tim Wilson has been chosen as the new dean of student affairs at the University of Washington Bothell. Among his qualifications, the search committee — made up of students, faculty and staff — noted his deep experience in creating and supporting inclusive campus communities. He will join UW Bothell on July 10. 

Wilson has spent the last 20 years advising students from all walks of life and helping them succeed at school and in life. “I believe in equitable opportunity more than equal opportunity,” he said. “Equality means that everyone gets a pair of shoes. Equity means that all the shoes fit. It’s my job to make sure every student is getting the help and attention they need to thrive regardless of who they are.” 

Since 2004, Wilson has been the assistant vice president for student development at Seattle University, where he is responsible for staffing, budget management and assessment efforts. Prior to his work at Seattle University, he served as the coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

Wilson looks forward to getting to know the students at UW Bothell. “I am very passionate about engaging with students and doing what I can to provide them with a positive and well-rounded experience,” he said. When asked for the best way to connect with him, Wilson responded, “Just come up to me and introduce yourself. Let’s talk. How can I help you?” 

Wilson reflects on when he was a student and notes how things have changed for the better. “Students today are way more comfortable talking about mental health,” he said. “They have better language to talk about what is going on with them than what I had growing up. Having this language is important because we can look at situations where students may be having difficulty. Then, instead of demonizing their behavior we can help them find solutions.” 

As head of UW Bothell’s Division of Student Affairs, Wilson will oversee offices that foster student engagement and personal and professional development. These include student engagement and activities, orientation and transition programs, residential life and student conduct, career services, recreation and wellness, veterans services and disability resources, the counseling center and the diversity center. 

Wilson says that much of his discipline and success in life can be attributed to his practice of martial arts. “I have two black belts in taekwondo,” he said. “The discipline, focus and respect I learned from martial arts has helped shape me into the person I am today.”