Education Lab readers offer their picks for Michael Young's permanent replacement.

Share story

In the weeks following Michael Young’s announcement that he will soon depart the University of Washington to take over as president at Texas A&M, we’ve been asking readers to share their picks for the next UW president.

Provost Ana Mari Cauce is scheduled to become interim president next week. A timeline for finding a permanent replacement for Young has not been announced.

Meanwhile, higher ed spending has emerged as a factor that lured Young to the Lone Star State. The amount of funding Texas allots per student is about 20 percent higher than Washington.

Young is also expected to get a significant raise when he transitions to his new job sometime this spring, but the Harvard-educated lawyer said he would have left academia a long time ago if money was the key motivator behind his career decisions.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks

If you could select anyone in the world to be the next UW president, whom would you choose? Why?

“My dark horse would be a guy like Norm Dicks — a UW grad, an accomplished former Congressman with the proven ability to raise money, and the track record of knowing how to get things done politically, which the next president must have to get proper funding for the UW from Olympia and from the federal government agencies sponsoring research.

The president of the University of Washington should be a product of Washington, not a hired gun from some other state. The UW is an elite academic institution. It has produced fantastic alumni and has a world class faculty. Let’s pick from among that cohort and not bless some unknown guy from some other state with the honor of running our gem flagship university here.”

Brian Ladenburg, Bainbridge Island

“Provost Ana Mari Cauce. She is a scholar of the highest order, a trained professor in psychology, gracious, loyal to the UW and the community, and beloved by the faculty and students. She has the ability to deal with our dysfunctional Legislature when it comes to providing funds, and she will use her highly trained skills of psychological persuasion to reap the rewards of better funding. She is a forward thinker, energetic, tech savvy and highly respected in the university community.”

 —Ingrid Savage, Seattle

“Alan Mullaly. He is successful internationally, has local ties and people in Seattle love him.”

–Rebecca Strand, Newcastle

“Christine Gregoire — smart, proven managerial experience, a Washington native, and I haven’t seen anything at which she doesn’t excel. We need a great communicator and consensus builder who can bring multiple disparate groups into partnerships that build a better state and university for all.”

–Matt Smith, Richland

“As a retired staff member at the UW, I had personal dealings with Provost Ana Mari Cauce in a couple of extremely sensitive situations. I found her to be smart, straightforward, thoughtful and entirely committed to fair dealing. She understands the UW and knows the ropes of this extremely complex organization. She’d be the perfect person to serve as the next president.

The UW needs a leader who is more interested in the university than the salary, and who won’t use the president’s office as a revolving door to some other position.”

Linda Fullerton, Suquamish

“Bill Moyers, Robert Reich, George Lakoff, Neil deGrasse Tyson or a similar individual who has interdisciplinary expertise, compassion and a clear vision for the future UW, its faculty, staff, and students, and Washington state as a world leader in innovation, ethics and social justice.

I started at UW in the Charles E. Odegaard days — when affiliation, commitment to excellence, and pride in the university came in one package. Odegaard had the best interests of the school as his foremost concern, and he stayed through 15 difficult, challenging years. He believed in doing the right thing and understood that the entire community were constituents. I’d like that level of knowledge, understanding and commitment in the next leader.”

–Marsha Iverson, Seattle

“Bill Gates: A local boy, committed to the NW and the world, and totally innovative. Understands what’s needed in education to prepare students for evolving world.”

–Carol Thompson, Clinton