September 2019


September 2019 Edition

Welcome to the new academic year.

Many of you who are just returning to campus have had a chance to take a break over the summer. I hope you are recharged and ready for what I believe will be our best year yet.

For those of you just joining us — about 1,600 new undergraduates and 200 new graduate students as well as all our new faculty and staff — you have become part of the UW Bothell community at a great time. As I explain in more detail below, we have accomplished much in our 30 years as a campus and will do even more and better in the coming years.

I credit our shared mission and values as well as the dedication of each member of our community for our many successes to date and for the positive and powerful momentum we have built up as we enter this academic year.

Leadership updates

New years are times of transition, and that includes UW Bothell campus leadership. I am proud to be on a campus that not only offers an excellent education to our students but also is committed to the development of our faculty and staff. That means bidding farewell to faculty, staff and administrators who continue their careers elsewhere and celebrating new talent who join our community.

All this in mind, I want to give you an update on the Chancellor’s Executive Team (CET) and several other leadership positions on campus.

  • Some of you may have had a chance already to meet Sharon A. Jones, who started in July as our new vice chancellor for academic affairs.
  • Effective Aug. 1, Gowri Shankar, a longtime faculty member in the School of Business, was named interim vice chancellor for planning and administration.
  • As of this summer, Sean Marsh, associate vice chancellor for advancement and external relations, is serving as acting vice chancellor for the division while Phil Akers is on medical leave.
  • Wayne Au will continue to serve this year as acting dean of diversity and equity and as our campus diversity officer. We will resume our search for the permanent diversity and equity dean in the new year.
  • Tim Wilson continues his role on the CET as dean of students.
  • The latest addition to my leadership team is Lenina Arenas-Fuentes, who began her position as senior executive assistant to the chancellor in mid September.

Please also join me in welcoming the following people to new leadership roles:

  • Professor Marc Servetnick, who was named interim dean of the School of Science Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, effective Sept. 1;
  • David Socha, a faculty member in Computing & Software Systems, who this year takes over as chair of the General Faculty Organization; and
  • Student Shugla Kakar, who was elected to serve as president of the Associated Students of the University of Washington Bothell for academic year 2019-20.

A call is still out for more staff members interested in being part of the leadership of our General Staff Organization. Staff are integral to our success, and I encourage you to consider expanding your impact on campus by serving with this important group. Contact Caitlin Moats, interim vice chair of the GSO, with your questions or interest.

Celebrating our success

There is great cause to celebrate this year, as we enter our 30th year as an institution of higher education. Founded by the Washington Legislature in 1989, we held our first classes in a Bothell business park in 1990. Fast forward three decades, and it is clear to see we have lived up to our mission to provide greater access to an excellent UW education.

In June 2019, we graduated our latest class of undergraduate and graduate students and now have more than 22,500 alumni. These ambassadors of the UW Bothell experience are working throughout the state and internationally to change lives, their communities and the world.

Another measure of UW Bothell’s excellence is the latest grant statistic from the Office of Research: In fiscal year 2019, faculty members brought in 29 awards totaling $7.6 million. This only builds on their grant success in FY 2018 (31 awards totaling $6.7 million) and FY 2017 (41 awards totaling $5.5 million). A decade ago, in 2008, research at UW Bothell totaled only $675,000.

In July, CNBC’s “Make It” listing ranked UW Bothell No. 2 among all public colleges across the country for providing the greatest “return on investment” for students and their families. To read more about the recognition we are gaining, browse the new “Points of Pride” page on our website where you will find highlights of recent UW Bothell outcomes, rankings and media coverage.

Building for our future

Not listed on that page is perhaps one of our most important forms of recognition as a campus: Last spring, the Washington Legislature and the governor made significant investments in the future of UW Bothell by approving a state budget that will bring new facilities, programs, faculty and students to our campus.

This includes $76 million for a new science building (to be shared with Cascadia College), $1.5 million to support STEM operations, $400,000 for our School of Nursing & Health Studies to develop online behavioral health courses for K-12 teachers and staff, and the new Washington College Grant that can help fund the education of more than 1,700 UW Bothell students who are eligible for federal Pell grants.

Momentum is certainly building, but there is more to do…

UW Bothell’s Strategic Planning Team is due this fall to complete the development phase of a new strategic plan for our campus. Please share your feedback on the latest draft in this anonymous survey by Monday, Oct. 7. Once finalized, the strategic plan will move into a multi-year implementation phase, starting this January.

We are working to meet or even exceed our $35 million fundraising campaign goal by the end of June, so watch for ways in which you can contribute your time or talent.

We also will be celebrating our 30th anniversary in various ways throughout the year, starting with W Day on Friday, Oct. 18.

I hope to engage with you in all these activities — and look forward to working together as a campus community throughout the next year.

Bjong Wolf Yeigh, Ph.D., F.ASME
Chancellor and Professor of Engineering