Annual President’s Address

Annual President’s Address

August 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the Chair
of the Faculty Senate George Sandison. [ APPLAUSE ] GEORGE SANDISON: Wow, what a nice crowd. Looks like you all got your tax extension
submissions in and smiling today after staying up late. Well, I did anyhow. Hello, and welcome. It is my great pleasure to be with you today
and to set the stage of President Ana Mari Cauce. You’ll notice that I didn’t say introduce. No, not introduce, because for this audience,
she truly needs no introduction. Who knows better than you, Ana Mari, the person. It’s easy to know Ana Mari, because she lets
you know her. Whatever the public sees and hears is the
same person that colleagues and friends see in here. And we love her for it. Some of you have had the pleasure of knowing
Ana Mari for three decades and have watched her grow in the various roles she has held
over this time– teacher, mentor, researcher, clinician, and administrator. I have only been at UW for one of those decades. And less still have only had close interactions
with her for one year in shared governance. But I think you will agree that it is more
than ample time to truly appreciate and admire her humor, her warm personality, and her strength
of character. It shines through, along with her authenticity
and honest transparency. The values she holds are consistent with the
words she speaks. Ana Mari deeply loves and is committed to
the University of Washington. And that love shows itself in many ways. But for me, personally, and in my faculty
governance service role, it’s truly inspiring to work with a leader who proudly sees herself
first and foremost as a faculty member. Through that lens, she applies her devoted
service to the greater good, and the opportunities that this great public research university
offers. Like many good leaders, her leadership is
never about her. It’s always about giving to the UW and improving
it for students, faculty, and staff. She knows that it takes a large, dedicated
and competent team to create an environment that enables everyone to thrive within this
institution. Consequently, she is a very, very generous
team player. Her embrace of our faculty-shared governance
model inspires us to greater achievements that are rooted in our values– collaboration,
respect, excellence, diversity, innovation, and integrity. These values guide our responsibilities and
our ambitions to excel in our mission of service learning and discovery. This mission is ultimately about positively
transforming our community for the good of the citizens of our state and the nation as
a whole. In leading this enterprise, Ana Mari exceeds
every leader I have known. She truly cares about the needs of our world-class
faculty and the students we serve. Students and their success remain at the very
heart of her efforts as it does for all of us. We believe in our mission, because we know
that education transforms lives. Like many of you, I was a product of this
transformative influence. I was the first member of my large family
to go to college. And in doing so, the world opened up in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Education was an extraordinary gift to a boy
raised in downtown slums of Liverpool, England in the 60s. And it became my international ticket to a
better, more successful and wealthier life. I wanted to share this gift by being an educator,
because I believe no one must be denied access to educational opportunity. And that’s what Ana Mari understands so clearly
and so powerfully. Her deep conviction that the UW is and must
remain a place of access and excellence is matched by her strength as a leader. And without a doubt, we need her powerful
voice at the helm speaking truth. We need a leader unafraid to represent us,
and the mission we serve here. We need a fearless advocate for the values
of learning, discovery, equity, and inclusion, especially so in this period of declining
political support for higher education. Like you, I am eager to hear how our president
envisions the next phase of our journey together and to understand how we can come together
to accelerate and advance this vision we share. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming
the 33rd president of the University of Washington, Ana Mari Cauce. [APPLAUSE] ANA MARI CAUCE: I’ve got to admit that after
an introduction like that, you feel like saying, OK, let’s have a reception. Thank you so much. It’s actually been one of the real highlights
has been working closely with our faculty Senate leadership. We have a really good group of people who
are very dedicated to the welfare of the university. So thank you, George. I also want to thank our regents who are here,
including Constance Rice, Rogelio Riojas and David Zeeck and Blaine Tamaki. And also, watching via livecast, Joanne Harrell–
really appreciate all that you do to keep me in line and to keep the university going
in the right direction. I also want to give a special welcome to our new provost, Mark Richards. He’s already been hard at work for a number of months. And I urge all of you, who want to get to
know him a little bit better, to turn out. He’s giving a talk on October 30 right in
time for Halloween at the HUB Lyceum on What Really Killed the Dinosaurs. So it’s going to be really exciting. And please, do come out. It’s going to be fun. It’s important sometimes to remember that
we are faculty members, and we are scholars. And it’s fun to talk about that part of the
work as well. I also want to acknowledge that we’re on the
land of the Coast Salish people, which touches the shared waters of all the tribes and bands
within the Skokomish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot nations. This wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ intellectual house is
a living reminder of the tribes and the native people who founded and remain a part of our
community. I also want to thank the Center for Urban
Horticulture for beautiful plants that we see around here. Each year, this address is my chance to talk
to our community to look ahead to opportunities and challenges in the coming year. The opportunities really are many. But today, just to warn you, I’m going to
focus on the challenges, because they’re both real and urgent. We really are at a critical juncture, and
we have some hard work to do. Our state’s leaders have described the coming
year as a time for focus to reinvestment in higher education. And it’s critical that we all work together
to make sure that everyone in our state realizes the immeasurable value that the University
of Washington delivers to them. Last spring, I spoke about truly valuing the
work that you and your colleagues do when you engage with the community and in public
scholarship. Today, in that same spirit, I’ll be asking
you to join me in telling others the story about the impact of our great university,
so that we can ensure that that impact continues. To understand the scope of the value, let
me start with a question. Is there anyone here who can name the leading
cause of death in the US? Shout it out. AUDIENCE: Heart disease. ANA MARI CAUCE: Did I hear heart disease? ANA MARI CAUCE: OK, well, it’s the right answer. It kills more than 600,000 Americans annually,
nearly a quarter of all deaths. The only other cause that comes even close is cancer. Damaged heart muscle tissue doesn’t regenerate, though. So there’s been no real way to truly heal
someone with heart disease. They just stay sick. But the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell
and Regenerative Medicine is using human stem cells to actually grow heart cells. I visited. You can look at a test tube and watch the
cells actually beating. It’s like science fiction. And it’s not too far fetched to think that
soon, the techniques they’re pioneering may allow a heart attack victim to regain up to
90% of normal heart functioning. This could change how we treat heart disease
on the scale that vaccines changed medicine 150 years ago. So here’s another question. How long did it take to restore power in Puerto
Rico after Hurricane Maria? [INTERPOSING VOICES] ANA MARI CAUCE: That actually is barely done. And it was nearly a full year. Now imagine living that long without power. What would it be like to wake up without hot
water or light day after day? What would it do to your health? Well, in May, Associate Professor Lilo Pozzo
led a team of students to Puerto Rico to study the long-term impact. They also installed solar-powered battery
systems to power home health devices for many of the residents. It was a collaboration between engineers and
public health experts with the support of UW’s Clean Energy Institute and the Global
Innovation Fund. Together, they use sustainable cutting-edge
technology to help solve a public health crisis for people who were living in unsafe living
conditions. And that’s what we mean when we talk about the intersecting pillars of the Population Health Initiative. OK, one last question. What percentage of undergraduates graduate
from the University of Washington with no known student debt? 60%, 60%. I know you were reading your cheat sheets. Good. And that actually about 39%, 40% that do graduate
with some loan, the average debt load is $22,000. Again, I don’t want to downplay that $22,000
is significant, but it’s certainly not crippling. And given that on average, the additional
lifetime earnings of someone with a college degree is an extra million dollars. You cannot argue with a rate of return. And we’re committed to keeping the University
of Washington education affordable for residents of our state. That’s why we continue to offer the most comprehensive
financial aid in Washington through the Husky Promise. We know that the urgency of the problems we
face in our cities, state, country, and on the planet require that everyone have the
chance to contribute at their full capacity. Together, those in the room, those that are
watching, those that are studying make up one of the world’s great public research universities. And we embrace our mission to serve the public
good not just for our students or patients, but for the broader public, including the
taxpayers who support us. Our public mission challenges us to be outcomes-oriented and pushes us to value substance over style. It means we champion inclusively rather than
sell activity, because we know that diversity and inclusion are essential for excellence. Yes, our work does result in accolades. We were ranked fourth among US universities, first among publics, for the impact of our research. US News ranked us 10th in the world amongst
global universities. And The Wall Street Journal ranked us third
as the best bang for buck. And just last week, we were, again, ranked
the number one public university for innovation. [APPLAUSE] OK. [APPLAUSE] Now, that’s not too shabby for your state
university, which I love to think of as the University for Washington. Now, I mean, we’re not the type that’s going
to beat our chest over rankings, although, I do enjoy them. But it’s important to remember they represent
your hard work. And they signal the rigor and excellence of
the education our students receive, and the impact of the research and discovery that
you do. They telegraph that our faculty and students
can compete with the very best in the world. And it’s at universities like ours that combine
true excellence with broad access across income levels where the action is. It’s where students of modest means can achieve
at the highest level. And best of all, we do it at scale. OK, what do I mean by a scale? Well, it’s terrific. It really is terrific that the top Ivy League
universities are making serious efforts to enroll more low income students. I applaud them. But the UW enrolls more low income students,
as measured by Pell eligibility, than all the Ivy Leagues combined. And that’s what I mean by scale. Our commitment to the life-changing power
of access when paired with excellence is epitomized in our alumni, who have founded or led many
of the companies that define the Pacific Northwest. Companies that strive to be environmentally
aware, treat employees fairly, and engage with their communities. They include Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman,
Nordstrom and Starbucks, who are led by alumni, Bruce Nordstrom and Oren Smith, and Boeing,
which counts among its leaders and innovators, too many UW alumni to name. They also include up and coming entrepreneurs
like David Cubbin, who received a Costco Diversity Scholarship and founded Scholarship Junkies,
which is helping young people find money for college. Our alumni have also headed nonprofit and
government agencies, including, some of our best governors– Dan Evans, Booth Gardner,
Christine Gregoire, and today’s Jay Inslee. They include our current and longest-serving
Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. And some like Sally Jewell, now a distinguished
fellow of our College of the Environment, has done both. She both headed up a private company, REI
but also the Department of Interior– talk about impact. Year after year, we opened doors to limitless
opportunities for young people who were not to the manner born. And they go on to create opportunities for
others. And that is what drives us. It’s what drives our commitment to honoring
the Husky Promise which I’m deeply proud of. However, when we first conceived of the Husky
Promise, it was supposed to be a supplement to the Pell and State Need Grant. But during the 2008 budget crisis, Washington
State hasn’t fully funded it since then, which leaves us responsible for a larger share than
was ever intended. Yet, our commitment to the Husky Promise has
been rock solid. Even during the worst of the budget cuts,
we remain the only university that used its own resources to fully backfill the State
Need Grant dollars. Over the last 10 years, more than 40,000 students
on our three campuses paid no tuition or fees thanks to the Husky Promise. You want to talk about– Thank you. [APPLAUSE] So you want to talk about free college? We’ve been promising and delivering it to
low income students for a decade. But if we start sacrificing quality in order
to do so, we all lose. Social mobility happens best at that intersection
between access and excellence. As a university, we’re a racehorse. We compete at the highest level. We must attract top faculty, staff, and students. But we also take very seriously all obligation
as the state’s workforce. We produce almost a third of all of Washington’s
bachelors and nursing degrees, and almost half of it’s computer science, pharmacy, or
doctoral-level degrees. And the majority of our graduates stay in
Washington, putting their education and training to good use right here. Now, when I’m out in the community talking
to civic, business, or community groups, I often ask, how many of you alums? Lots of hands shoot up. And when I asked, then, how many were treated
at one of our hospitals or clinics? About half the room has their hands up. When I add to that, well, have you ever walked
through the arboretum, attended a Huskies sports event, one of our plays or musical
performances? Nearly everyone has a hand up. And when I ask audiences about the issues
that concern them, they mentioned homelessness, natural disasters, mental health, the environment. And I can almost always share some ongoing
work by the UW. And quite frankly when I can’t, it’s usually
because I don’t know about it yet. I gotta say that keeping on top of everything
at this university is really pretty close to impossible, although, I’m having a blast
doing it. Our commitment to the public good is found
in discoveries starting with our basic or our curiosity-based research. Its impact is more long-term. Two years ago, we celebrated our seventh Nobel
Prize by David Foulis, emeritus professor in physics. His highly theoretical work on the phases
of matter. And that’s about the depth that which I can
describe it, opened the door to unimagined advances in electronics and computing. This year, we’re celebrating Kristina Olson,
who was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant for her longitudinal research to understand the
experiences of transgender children. Her plan is to follow these youth over a 20-year
period to look at developmental trends and outlooks, starting in preschool to adulthood. But her work is already making an impact on
kids, parents, and on decisions that their doctors are making. Our commitment to the public good also shows
up in very immediate ways. Over the last few years, we’ve helped law
clinics to help immigrants understand their rights. We have elementary and middle school students
who watch music and dance performances through the meaning. Or most recently, a 2014 research study by
Sociology Professor Katherine Beckett just lead to ending the death penalty in our state. That’s impact. [APPLAUSE] But, of course, I can tell you know our story,
or at least parts of it. You’ve helped to make it happen. But today I’m calling on you to not only be
the story makers but also the story tellers. It’s not enough for us to know it. As a public university, it’s essential that
everyone in our state knows it too and understands that it is at risk. Let me be perfectly clear– maintaining both
access and excellence in service of the public good requires public support. Without significant and steady reinvestment
by the state in our core operations, we aren’t on a sustainable trajectory. I just need to be frank. So let’s take a hard look at our operating
budget. Let me show you what I mean. All right. OK, this is our budget in broad strokes. When you hear that the UW’s budget revenue,
when you hear it described as $7.8 billion, no doubt, you think that’s a lot of money. OK, it is. But it’s vitally important to understand how
that money is apportioned, and how the part that can be used for general unrestricted
use is actually a relatively small piece. OK, first, you can see that big piece over
to the right. That’s our hospitals and clinics, which by
themselves are almost half the budget. If you’ve been reading the papers, and I hope
that you do, you know it’s an area where we’ve been experiencing significant financial stress. And they’re operating under a fit plan to
reduce and then eliminate operating deficits. Just like any other hospital, including the
privates, the vast majority of public funds that the hospitals have come from Medicare
and Medicaid reimbursements. And, of course, they’re restricted for patient
care. But unlike private hospitals, we have the
added obligation to serve all who walk through the doors, regardless, of insurance or ability
to pay. Last year, our hospitals and clinics provided
$417 million worth of charitable care for patients for which we are not reimbursed. OK, let’s look at another piece of the budget–
sponsored research. That’s about a billion dollars. That comes from externally funded grants or
contracts to support specific areas of research or specific studies. This revenue comes primarily from federal
funding. And to get it, we compete against private
and public universities all around the country. And we’re number two in the country in this
competition. But all of that money is restricted to use
for a specific research project. So let’s look at our next piece again over
a billion dollars– auxiliary activities. Some of you are probably wondering, and what
is that? OK. There are parts of the university that operate
like business enterprises. And they’re entirely self-sustaining. For example, UW parking and transportation
services or housing and dining. This category also includes intercollegiate
athletics. And I’m just anticipating a question. No state or tuition dollars go to coaches’
salaries just to be clear. The overhead costs of these units make up
the designated operating funds category, which is within the auxiliary activities. And they’re going to keep our physical plant
functioning, keep the lights on, and the water running. They also cover the cost of offering summer
quarter, which does not receive state support. The revenue that these units generate cover
their costs. But they can’t be used for other UW activities. I can’t use parking dollars to hire new faculty. So let’s talk about private philanthropy. And that’s how much we received this year
from private philanthropy. Now, our donors are extremely generous. And I want to take this moment to acknowledge
one of UW’s most generous and visionary donors and friends, Paul Allen. Paul was deeply and will be deeply missed. And he’ll always be remembered for the impact
he made here and across the whole world. He was, and his family has been so generous. You see his name all over the place. And it’s thanks to Paul and hundreds of thousands
of committed donors that we recently crossed the $5 billion milestone in our campaign. And thank you to all of you who made it happen. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] And I should add that 70% of the donors put
in $500 or less. This really was. There was about 38,000 people who contributed. So Paul played an outsized role. But it really was everyone coming together. But let’s be very, very clear. Donor dollars cannot take the place of state
funding. More than 95% of donations are earmarked for
specific projects. And they can’t be used to pay for broader
ongoing operating expenses, whether general raises for our staff or faculty or deferred
maintenance for our buildings. And quite frankly, we don’t want that to change,
or else, we really do become privatized. Now, I want to be clear. Every single part of the budget is important. They make the University of Washington the
powerhouse that it is. The work that we do in our hospitals and clinics
is core to our public mission. It’s also core to our research mission. For example, our clinics, our hospital service sites for clinical trials that both provide our community with cutting edge medical procedures,
and that they also feed on-the-ground clinical information into our research labs. So as an example, Professor Scribner’s research
led to modifications in the kidney shunt, which, in turn, led to the first outpatient
dialysis treatment center in the country right here at the UW. That’s what happens when you have world-class
hospitals and clinics paired with a first-class research university. And external funding– that’s an important
part of our budget. I want to be clear. It’s not only key to medical research, but
it also funds the excellent work being done at the Center for Urban Waters at UW Tacoma,
or the Center for Reinventing Public Education at Bothell. It is key to the work that we do, as is private
philanthropy. It plays a role in affordability and excellence. It provides scholarships and fellowships for
undergraduate and graduate students. It helps us recruit top faculty through professorships
and chairs. So I don’t want to by erasing them from the
chart. I want to make clear they are extremely important. They also provide funds that translates into
jobs across the state, contributing to both our talent and our tax base. But these budgets are restricted. And they can’t be used for things like new
faculty positions or academic advisors or mental health professionals or for general
raises for our excellent and hardworking faculty and staff. For that, we get to the general operating
budget. OK. And that’s what we’re left with. OK, it’s a little over a billion dollars. I want to be clear. That’s nothing to sleaze at. But it’s considerably smaller than that piece
that most of you imagine when you think about the university budget. And remember, we have three main campuses,
a medical school in Spokane, and facilities around the state. And this budget supports the education of
around 50,000 students. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing
that we’re doing what we’re doing. Now one other thing I want you to realize
is that families and students fund about two-thirds of this budget through tuition. When you look at the general operating budget,
two-thirds are funded by tuition. That wasn’t always the case. Part of why costs seemed to be rising is that
over the last few decades, the truth is the costs per students has been relatively flat. But 15 years ago, two-thirds of the general
operating funds came from the state, and one-third came from tuition. OK, you can see the flip-flop over time. After years of state funding cuts, you can
see a reversal in those percentages. So if you wonder why so many in the public
and in government think college is too expensive, this is exhibit A. In fact, cost haven’t changed that much. It’s who pays for it that’s changed, big time. Students and families are putting a lot more
of the bill themselves. Yet, throughout this time, we’ve continued
to admit more Washington students who were eager to access the incredible resource in
their own backyard. 20 years ago, we enrolled about 27,000 Washington
residents. Today, it’s over 30,000 Washington residents. In fact, over this period, over the 20 years,
we’ve added an additional 3,500 Washington students. So we’re continuing to do our job despite
the fact that funding has reversed. I want to show you one other piece of data
that surprises people and will help you put our budget in perspective. OK. This chart shows what other states invest
per student in their public universities. And when you compare our state’s investment
to that of our peers, the gap is pretty stark. The UW receives $5,220 a year per student
from the state near the very bottom of our top 25 public peers. You might ask, UNC Chapel Hill, $18,684 per
student per year. University of Georgia, $11,283 per student
per year. New Jersey, Maryland– they provide their
flagship universities with more than $14,000 a year per student. And lately, we’ve all been hearing about the
poor UC system, and how much they are suffering. We also hear that they’re about to get a much-needed
infusion of dollars, because their state is concerned that after years of underfunding,
they’re losing competitive ground in their top universities. Yet, UCLA already receives more than $11,000
per student. I’ll take their budget problems any day. OK. So you might ask, what about those other schools
at the bottom? How do they do it? OK, no surprise. Let’s look. If you look at the in-state resident tuition
among our peers, what you’ll find is an interesting pattern. The other four universities in the bottom
five for state funding were Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, UVA, University of Virginia,
and University of Illinois. And they’re all in the top five for undergraduate
resident tuition. You think that’s a coincidence? Yeah, I don’t either. So let’s be clear. We are all alone amongst our country’s top
public universities in being at the very bottom in terms of state funding, and the lowest
third of in-state undergraduate tuition. We are all alone there. Compared to our peers, we’ve been stretching
our resources further and further. And that’s not all bad. It makes us more creative. It makes us more innovative. But you can only go so far. Parts of our university are already stretched
far beyond any reasonable comfort zone. And I don’t mean that in a good way. That’s part of why we engage in vibrant and
at times heated debate about where we put our dollars. Faculty and students and college Y may think
that allocations to college X are comparatively higher than they should be. Or some might believe we should be investing
more in raises and less on new hires. These arguments and discussions are important. We need them. We should have them. But at times, the way that we conduct these
battles suggest to the public that the problem is primarily one of resource allocation or
where we put our money. But the data is absolutely crystal clear–
fact check it. We have a very major and urgent problem with
the size, the amount in our budget, given what we do, and what the state and public
needs us and counts on us to do. Now, within our budget, our priority has been
on investing in our people. Our excellence is tied to the talent that
we can attract, develop, and retain. I have no question about that. We’ve been focusing on administrative efficiencies,
developing new models for purchasing, relying more on design build models of construction. And we’ve gained energy efficiencies to bring
costs down. By far, the largest share of our new construction
is heavily leveraged on philanthropic dollars. Heck, our billion-dollar deferred maintenance
back loan alone should show that our priorities have been on investing in people, and they
always will be. But we can slice of the pie as many different
ways as you’d like. And we will continue to debate that. But it won’t change the fact that there’s
simply not enough to keep us healthy, much less, happy. So one more time, let me go over the facts. First, the cost of a UW education has been
relatively flat over the last 20 years. What’s changed is who pays for it? A reversal from the state to individual students
and families. Two, we have one of the strongest and most
generous financial aid programs in the country, and the lowest net tuition. That’s what students actually pay for undergraduates
of all the public four years, colleges or universities in our state. We have the lowest net tuition of all the
public four-year universities in the state. 10,000 resident students at the UW right now
are paying no tuition. Third, our state funding per student is at
the bottom five of our peer group. It’s the bottom three. Our tuition is in the bottom third. This is simply not a formula for continued
success. It’s quite the opposite. Without investment by the Washington public,
our state’s health and prosperity and future generations of students are at risk. And it’s my responsibility to make sure that
everyone knows that. This year’s legislative session is critical. Legislative leaders have said they hope to
make this the year of higher education in Washington. We urgently need them to make good on that
commitment. Entropy is always working against us. It takes a lot of energy and time to build
something. But things fall apart much more quickly, much
more easily. It doesn’t happen all at once. There’s not a big bang. And we’re not a private entity. Our university can’t leave for some other
state that offers to treat us better. And from what I can tell, there’s about 40
of them or so. But quality can erode. It happens one faculty member at a time. The full professor at the height of her career,
who gets lured away for higher pay and better facilities. The promising early career faculty who would
love to come here but worry that given the high cost of living, the compensation we can
offer is not competitive enough. We are diminished each time a top graduate
student accepts an offer elsewhere because it’s better. Or when excellent nurse, academic advisor
or IT worker goes to work in the private sector because of pay or benefits. We might still have a big W at our interests. Our diplomas will still read University of
Washington. But a trickle of departures and failures to
attract build up over time. And despite the superficial continuity, the
University of Washington that you know that contributes so much to the state can essentially
disappear. We’re at an inflection point, because over
the next decade, we’re likely to replace between a third and half of our faculty as boomers
retire. We’ll be seeing huge replacement in our staff
as well. Excellence will erode very quickly if we don’t
have the means to recruit and then retain top talent to what we all know is an increasingly
expensive area. The Mt. Rainier effect doesn’t cut it when
other areas, which are no longer more expensive, offer more competitive salaries and resources. And when the best educators, researchers,
thought leaders, and those who support their work stop seeing the UW as a place to aspire
to, our students will suffer. Our patients will not get the same level of
care. Our scientific and intellectual output will
wane. And the entire state will lose something invaluable. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to talk
to some of our most active and engaged alumni and friends, including past leaders of the
Alumni Association about some of the challenges. I showed them the data that you’ve seen today. They were not only surprised, they were a
little shocked when they saw the facts and figures that I shared. A lot of people really do believe were rich
with resources. But the facts prove otherwise. In light of the sheer magnitude of our responsibilities,
we stretch our resources further than anyone that performs at the same quality level. We are– I want to repeat– we are all alone
amongst the top publics and having state funding and resident tuition both in the bottom of
the pack. And we need our friends and supporters to
speak out on our behalf. And I trust that they will. I trust that you will. Our university needs you, in particular, our
faculty, our staff, our students to talk about the important work that you’re doing, that
the university is doing. We need to make the stakes clear to people
across the state who benefit from the work that’s taking place here, whether or not they’ve
gone here, whether or not they’ve set foot on our campus, the work we do here is changing
their lives. This coming legislative session is extremely
important. The next biennial budget will play a key role
in our ability to honor our public mission. For anyone who has been treated at a UW hospital
or by a physician, who graduated from our medical school. For anyone who ached for the mother orca,
who carried her dead calf and wanted to know how we can better protect these majestic creatures,
and the oceans we share with them. For the veterans at Joint Base Lewis-McChord
who can easily access classes at UW Tacoma. For the elementary or middle school students
who have attended one of our math camps or our gear up program that prepares low income
students for college. Or the young women in high school, who attend
our Women’s Center Making Connections Program, preparing them for careers in STEM. For the 50,000-plus students in our degree
programs– for all of those people and more. My message is simple– without public reinvestment
and higher education, the enormous benefits that the UW provides to Washington and beyond
are at risk. The UW serves every person and community in
Washington in countless and at irreplaceable ways. It’s time to sound the alarm that our great
public service mission is at risk. We are the UW. And it’s our responsibility to make sure to
connect our university with the people that it serves. We all need to be out there telling the stories
of the work that we and our colleagues do here of the many ways that this amazing university
advances the public good, because we urgently need our policymakers on behalf of the people
they serve to reinvest in this vital resource. I am raising my voice in communities across
the state, on social media, on my blog, at receptions, at backyard barbecues when I’m
walking across campus. And I’m doing it in partnership with higher
education leaders across Washington who are facing similar challenges, including WSU President
Kirk Schulz. At the Apple Cup, we’re going to be talking
together. And that should make it clear how important
this is. Truth is the stakes couldn’t be higher. We cannot take today’s University of Washington
for granted. No amount of belt tightening can compensate
for the fact that compared to our peers, we are woefully underfunded. We are where we are today, because of enlightened
legislators, generous donors, and members of the public who believed in the power of
education. Their investment has paid off many times over. We all have stories to tell about the University
of Washington. Your stories matter. Talk to your neighbors, to your friends, to
your legislators, to the people whose voices matter in the state, to the people whose voices
you don’t think that matter but matter. We are at a critical juncture. What happens in the months ahead will make
a difference for decades to come. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Happy to take questions. [APPLAUSE] AUDIENCE: It’s now time for questions. We have two microphones here in the aisles. So if you have a question, please make your
way there. If you have limited mobility, please signal. And one of our event staff can come and ask. We also have questions we received via email. And so as folks are coming to the microphones,
we’ll start with one of those. It is from Peter Messinger. In what ways do you plan to encourage employee
labor unions to participate effectively in the operation of the UW? ANA MARI CAUCE: Well, thank you, Peter for
that question. First of all, we encourage everyone to have
their voices be heard. That is an important part of our university. And we urge you to be involved in the debates
about where we put our funds. But at the end of the day, we all win when
administration and unions, leadership and rank can file together work to support adequate
funding for public higher education in Washington. Again, the issue isn’t– I think the data’s
pretty clear where we put our money. It’s in the amount of dollars that we have. And we’re really working to see if we can
have more engagement and collaboration outside of the bargaining table going together to
Olympia hand-in-hand. So thank you, Peter. AUDIENCE: All right, I’m first. Paula O’Kasik. I’m a plumber on main campus. And I’m also the president of Local 1488,
which represents custodians, maintenance workers, and a lot of hospital people. My question has to do with, I understand you
wanting to reinvest in higher ed, but what about reinvesting in your classified staff
and in your buildings? As a maintenance person, these buildings are
deteriorating, and we’re not reinvesting. And the reason I bring this up is because
what are you going to do if our wonderful hospitals can’t treat patients? What are you going to do if we have to close
down classrooms, because the buildings are falling apart? These are all things that are happening. And I’ve gone to the state legislature. In fact, my union has gone to the state legislature
to lobby for funds. And one of the things I’ve done is taken them
pictures of the state of these buildings. And their question is, what is the UW doing
with the money we do send them? So they see the state of these state-owned
buildings. And there’s a disconnect between you wanting
more funds and what are you doing with it when they give it to you. ANA MARI CAUCE: OK, no, I mean, first of all,
thank you very much for the question. One of the things that you really pointed
out– one of the questions that I often get is why are you investing in buildings instead
of in people? And I go, well, gee, I don’t know any buildings
that we invest in if it’s not because of the people who work in them. And we need to have safe spaces for them. We have over a billion dollar backlog in deferred
maintenance, no question. And I would be more than happy to sit down
if a group wants a lesson. We’re happy to go through where we put every
dollar that we’ve gotten from the state in deferred maintenance every year. I can assure you, it goes to deferred maintenance. In fact, we add dollars to deferred maintenance. But it’s just not enough. AUDIENCE: No, I appreciate sitting down with
you some of my union brothers and sisters, because I don’t see the money going into deferred
maintenance– ANA MARI CAUCE: OK, no, we’re happy to do
that, absolutely. AUDIENCE: All right, I’ll make an appointment
through Margaret. ANA MARI CAUCE: No, we can do that. We can do that soon too. AUDIENCE: OK, all right, thank you. ANA MARI CAUCE: All right, thank you. AUDIENCE: We have another email question. Again, if you have a question you’d like to
ask, come to one of the microphones. This is from Joel Gommenair, who is a earth
and space sciences PhD student. Many of the highest-paid state employees are
administrators and athletic coaches at the University of Washington with top salaries
ranging from $3.5 million to $500,000. Can you justify to voters a $500,000 salary
for a tight end coach or $550,000 salary for a dean? ANA MARI CAUCE: OK, well, thank you for that. I think I already mentioned that coachs’ salaries
come from the earnings that take place on the football field from tickets that you buy
and also from donor dollars. Quite frankly, when we have faculty members
that can give a speech and fill up Husky Stadium for people paying a couple hundred dollars
per seat, we’ll be able to do more there as well. But the important part is that the dollars
that go into coachs’ salaries are not dollars that I could use someplace else. They are part of intercollegiate athletic
budgets. In terms of deans, I want to be clear for
some of the deans [INAUDIBLE]. Not all deans get paid in the $500,000 range. But we do have some that do. In particular, I think in business is an example
of a dean that we generally– Medicine is another example of deans that we usually have to pay
quite a bit. Quite frankly, it’s a competitive market. If you look at our dean salaries, none of
them are at the very top of the peers. But we do have to pay within that range, because
we need to be competitive to attract the best talent. Quite frankly, a dean is not a place to be
cutting corners, because of the hard work that they do. But again, we do have to pay competitive salaries
like we do for everybody else. I don’t think we have anyone that’s paid at
the very, very, very highest, but we have to keep them in the ballpark. AUDIENCE: All right, we’ll go to the far microphone
here. AUDIENCE: Hi, there. My name is Andrew Sang. I’m a student at the University of Washington
undergrad. And it’s an honor here to be speaking to you
guys. And my question really is you mentioned that
it’s not possible these auxiliary activity dollars in, for example, for raises, for new
hires, right. But I was just wondering, what is the thinking
behind that kind of policy, and why it is that we can’t really change that? Because it seems like it would be a great
opportunity for us to be able to leverage assuming like parking, parking revenue, in
order to ensure that our faculty and our staff are going to be able to be paid well to ensure
that our students going to be able to have affordable tuitions so just curious as to– ANA MARI CAUCE: Yeah, I mean, they are separate
for a reason, because the main reason why they’re separate is to make sure that they’re
self-sustaining, and that they don’t take money from tuition and from tuition. But the truth is that all that money gets
reinvested back. So yes, I guess, technically, if we didn’t
have this barrier, we could charge five times more for parking and then put it someplace
else. But the people who would be paying that parking
would be our faculty and staff and students. So in some ways, that really wouldn’t work. Our auxiliary units are all units that serve
the university. Housing and dining is a perfect example. And if you’ve been to some of our Regents
meetings, whenever we raise cost in housing or dining, we have students involved in that,
because we try and keep those costs down. So it’s not because these are services that
actually serve the rest of the university. Being able to raise their increases to pay
for other things would actually just end up raising– So it doesn’t wash. But we do. I mean, we do look at whenever we can do something
entrepreneurally, we do. But it’s not like– even with patent dollars,
et cetera, there’s not enough there to really make up for the lack of state funding. AUDIENCE: This microphone? AUDIENCE: Yeah, my name is Salvador Castillo. I’m a custodian. I working right here for a long time. And my question is housing used to be cheap
years ago. Even custodians used to live around here in
the university outside of the university. Right now, almost everybody live outside in
Tacoma and that get up at 1:30 in the morning to come to work. And with the salary we make, it’s not enough. Transportation, and especially people who
got four or five kids, the rent is not $1,000, maybe, $2,500 to $2,700. So it’s real expensive, plus food, and all
that stuff– transportation, gas, phones. If you’ve got kids like high school, college,
university, make it real impossible for them to attend school, because they’re not then
got enough money. Now, with the salary we make, we not make
enough money even to pay the rent, even if it’s $2,000, we not make that much money. So my question is why we not getting more,
because we not making even the minimum of the city. ANA MARI CAUCE: No, I mean, I absolutely understand
what you’re talking about. When I was first recruited here, I was trying
to choose between UCLA and the University of Washington. And UCLA offered me significantly more. But when I looked at cost of living, it made
sense to come here. I mean, I could certainly justify it. I actually wanted to come here desperately. But I also could justify it economically,
because LA was so much more expensive than Seattle. I bought my house for $130,000. And I was shivering when I wrote that down
payment check. I know that things are not like that anymore. And that’s one of the things that I really
worry about. We used to be able to, quite frankly, we paid
a little bit less, maybe more than a little bit less than some of our peers in San Francisco
and LA and New York, Boston, et cetera. And we could do that, because I could tell
people with a straight face– we are the least expensive place that you’d want to live. That’s really no longer the case. And we’ve seen that. We’ve seen that with our graduate students. We’ve seen that with our incoming faculty. And there’s a couple of different ways that
we’re trying to work at it. One is we are partnering in terms of affordable
housing. And we hope to be able to have some low-income
apartments, condos that can be used by our workers. And they would be partly subsidized. So that’s one thing that we’re doing. Another thing that we’re doing– and I hope
that you join us– is going to Olympia. If we get more dollars from Olympia, I can
guarantee you we can do better by our workers. AUDIENCE: OK. My second question is in ’93 when I started
working right here in university, we used to have what’s that– almost 370 custodians. And from those last year, we got 200 custodians. You know that university every day start growing
more and more. So it started to provide better service to
get more people to serve better, to provide better service to everybody. It’s less the service, because we not got
enough employees. In every department from custodians to train,
it is the same problem, because we got, maybe, about three or four maintenance elevator for
the whole university. And this is real hard for everybody, plus
of excessive work. So much excessive work. It’s not fair for us to do so much work, and
then we get a raise from management from the university, because they’d want for us to
do more than possible. [? Same ?] part to four floors in– when somebody
not come, it’s eight floors. So it’s impossible to provide a good service. ANA MARI CAUCE: No, I mean, thank you for
pointing that out. When most people think about administrative
bloat, they think about deans. Or they think about chairs or associate chairs. The truth is when we talk about administrative
efficiencies, that’s part of what we’re talking about. If you are a faculty member or a staff member,
your office is being cleaned less often, because we are using fewer custodians to do the work. So your rug is vacuumed less often, et cetera,
that is. When I talk about how we’re stretching ourselves
further and further, and we can’t do much, you’ve given us a perfect example, so thank
you. AUDIENCE: Thank you. AUDIENCE: We have a email question from Jennifer
Lehner, an institutional analyst, the graduate school. What are your thoughts on Maryland’s College
Promise Program, which allows some students to attend community college tuition free,
and Governor Hogan’s stated desire to expand this to public four-year colleges in Maryland. More specifically, what responsibility and
role does the University of Washington play in mitigating student debt for Washington
resident students? And since I see no one at the microphone,
so make this the last question. ANA MARI CAUCE: Well, at the risk of being
glib, if we put back that chart on state funding, Maryland is about $14,000 per student per
year state funding. So that’s pretty much your answer. The truth is that we’ve– given the level
of state funding that we’ve gotten not just University of Washington, but our state has
done a remarkable job. When you look at average student debt, we’re
sixth-lowest in the nation as in terms of your state public universities. I think we should feel good about the value
that we’re able to offer our students in the state. People have slightly different ways of going
about it. But our debt load as not just at the University
of Washington, but as a sector, is very good. And at University of Washington, we really
outperform. So I think it’s great what University of Maryland
is doing. Quite frankly, one of the reasons why I would
love to see us get more state support is not so much in terms of our lowest income students,
which we do quite well by. But I would love to be able to see us do more
financial aid for the middle class. And that’s something we could do with more
state funding. AUDIENCE: That’s all? ANA MARI CAUCE: All right, well, thank you
very much. [ APPLAUSE ]