Fundraising: Emmert was considered a consummate fundraiser, often traveling the country to meet with wealthy donors and get them excited about giving to the university. In 2008, he finished an eight-year fundraising campaign with $2.68 billion, nearly $700 million over target.
Research: The university’s reputation as a research powerhouse — particularly in medicine and related disciplines — has continued to grow under Emmert’s tenure. In 2008, he launched an ambitious public-health institute with a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant of $105 million — the largest gift in UW history.
Athletics: Emmert inherited a battered football program that went into free fall in 2008, going 0-12. But the hiring of coach Steve Sarkisian, who went 5-7 last year, again raised hopes. Basketball, crew and women’s softball have all done well under Emmert’s tenure, although swimming was axed and the UW failed to find legislative support to renovate Husky Stadium.
Salary: Emmert was the nation’s second-highest-paid public university president, with a salary of $906,500. He also collected an additional $340,000 in cash and stock from sitting on two corporate boards. That level of compensation put him under increasing fire as the state budget hit hard times and the UW faced severe cutbacks. When he and other senior leaders announced in February that they would donate 5 percent of their salaries to student scholarships, some considered the gesture too little, too late.
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Olympia: Emmert did well in Olympia when the state’s economy was booming, landing plenty of money for new programs and facilities. But his charm with some lawmakers seemed to wane as the state’s economy collapsed, and the UW sustained deeper cuts than just about any other state agency.
Seattle Times staff