UW Annual President’s Address

UW Annual President’s Address

September 9, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


[APPLAUSE] THAISA WAY: There is no real need
for me to introduce our president Ana Mari Cauce to you. We know this president. She’s ours. Her leadership is in part what makes us who
we are here and now as a university and a community. This leadership has catalyzed change that
is at the core of our collective work and vision. So while it is important to note that her
tenure at this institution reaches back over 30 years as a professor of psychology and
American ethnic studies, with additional appointments in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality
Studies, as well as in the College of Education, and that she has contributed to our community
as a clinic director, as chair, as mentor, as dean, as teacher, as provost, and today
as president, it is even more important to acknowledge the remarkable ways in which President
Cauce challenges and champions us here today and every day. More than anything, she has challenged us
all to expand our commitment to education and the public good. Essentially, how do we become the number one
university for impact? For real and enduring impact? We see that commitment to impact in the many
recognitions she has received for her teaching, scholarship, and advocacy, including the Distinguished
Teaching Award, the highest honor we give to faculty members for their work with our
students. But those honors only begin to recognize what
it means to have Ana Mari as a leader and a partner. From the Husky promise now 10 years old to
the Capital Campaign that’s expanding the reach of our promise and excellence, she is
leading us as an institution while partnering with us as a community. Last year, Ana Mari launched the Population
Health Initiative by inviting the university community and partners to contribute to a
multidecade vision to advance the health and well-being of people around the world in an
approach that tackles challenges of environmental health and economic and social equity. As bold as it is, this initiative is about
even more than population health. It’s about catalyzing inclusive innovation
to generate that real and enduring impact for the public good. This is what leadership looks like when Ana
Mari is our president. She has modeled how to respond to society’s
challenges and reimagined what it means to be a public university dedicated to this public
good. Just one example, she engaged with our students,
faculty, staff, and the broader community to welcome Tent City 3 just last winter. So many of us were changed by that experience
as we saw new possibilities for our role in serving our communities. But for me, the moment when I knew this was
a university to which I would commit in the long term was when Ana Mari launched our Race
& Equity Initiative in 2015 in this very room. This was a challenge of the deepest kind,
to critically reflect on ourselves in order to nurture a more inclusive community. And announcing the initiative, Ana Mari shared
her own story of coming to this country as an immigrant, of her brother’s leadership,
and then of his murder. Of her mother’s journey to embrace her daughter,
Ana Mari, and her wife. She reminded us that racism, sexism, classism,
all of the isms are not someone else’s problems, but our problems. We are challenged to change both ourselves
and our community so that everyone who steps onto this campus is welcomed and nurtured
with respect and grace. This is not merely her initiative, but ours,
for it is our community that we’ll build together with her. As our nation and our own campus reckon with
racist incidents and what seems like a rising chorus of louder racism, louder bigotry, and
louder hatred, which are not new but newly shameless, Ana Mari has remained a leader,
sharing her leadership in Chicago with other presidents and provosts just this week. She has consistently defended the right to
free speech on campus, to academic freedom in the research, teaching, and service of
our faculty, and to the rights of our students to engage in discourse across differences. She has not backed away from hard conversations,
but taken responsibility for our community by engaging and being present, by listening
and by reflecting, and finally, by leading. And with all of these challenges, at the core
is also the Ana Mari of incredible warmth and generosity of spirit, a true community
builder. She understands the power of being real, of
sharing as a friend and a colleague. In fact, there have been moments when I half
regretted she was my boss, because I would love to just be friends. No matter the position she has held officially,
she has maintained an approachability that another leader might see as a liability. But not Ana Mari. She chats with me about where to go hiking,
the beauty of a sunset, or our mutual dislike of spending too much on fancy clothes. [LAUGHTER] She welcomes new students to the dorms, and
is just as willing to talk with angry students on Red Square. She’s her unfiltered, sometimes silly self
on Facebook. And when she makes a mistake, whether it’s
a typo or a decision to be reconsidered, she acknowledges and moves forward with integrity
and generosity. These are the values around which Ana Mari
builds our community, and they are what challenges each of us to bring our best to the table
and to truly steward an outstanding future for all of us as a community here and around
the globe. So please join me in welcoming the president,
a boundless, fearless, and tireless leader engaging the grandest challenges of this institution
and our collective communities. [APPLAUSE] ANA MARI CAUCE: Now I’m feeling a little pressure. [LAUGHTER] Thank you so much, Thaisa. That was just lovely. And I’d say it’s certainly what I aspire to. I’m not sure that I get there all the time. Thank you all for being here. Welcome. And I want to begin by acknowledging 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. Here in the sacred space of Welebalt Intellectual
House, it’s a special honor to acknowledge the tribes and native people who founded and
remain part of our community. And we are indeed a community. Again, I want to thank and welcome those of
you who are here today, and those who may be watching remotely for coming together and
that spirit of community. I want to particularly thank the regents who
are here. Their leadership and wise counsel ensures
that this great institution continues to thrive. And they represent the people of Washington
and their support and investment in this university. OK. So this last year has been full of challenges,
global, national, and right here. A lot has been thrown at us. But it’s also important to acknowledge that
some have been challenged, and in fact, threatened more than others, including our DACA students,
our trans community members, the people of color more generally, as well as so many in
our community who have been affected by what seems like one after another after another
natural and at times not so natural disasters. We’re also facing a difficult economic time
across all three of our campuses with some of our schools, colleges, or units feeling
the pinch more than others. I know it’s not an easy time, and I’m happy
to take questions about any of these issues or anything else that’s on your mind during
Q&A. But I want to focus primarily today on those
things that unite us, aside from the @UW and our email addresses, or the fact that we all
look fabulous in purple. [LAUGHTER] I want to focus on what we can accomplish
when we all pull together. That’s not to minimize or ignore our challenges. I think about them every day, and quite frankly,
too often at night. Yet I believe the best way to prepare for
and confront challenge is by building on our strengths, pulling together as a community
on behalf of the greater good. About a decade ago when I was vice provost,
I helped to lead a project to assess and improve working conditions here at the university. We surveyed more than 6,000 UW faculty and
staff, and we interviewed many others. I was involved in the face-to-face interviews. And I was struck by two features of our community
that were overwhelmingly positive. Almost 90% of those surveyed agreed strongly
that they care about the UW and they are proud to be a part of this university. Finance and IT professionals, med techs, nurses,
janitors, cooks, electricians told us that while their day-to-day work was not that different
from what they might be doing if they worked someplace else, it mattered to them that they
were part of this community, and that what they did supported our larger mission of education,
discovery, patient care. Well, I’m proud to be a member of this community
too. I’ve often said that I think of it as home,
a concept that for someone who came to this country as a refugee has special meaning. I grew up in a house where home was something
almost mythical, something that was out of reach, that had disappeared. But I found it. It’s here. I’ve been here for most of my life, and I
think my spouse would tell you, I spend more time here than any place else. And quite frankly, I take a lot of joy in
being part of and dedicated to this very special place. I’m proud of our students across all of our
campuses who work so hard to gain admission to the UW, and then work even harder once
they get here. They’re from suburbs and small towns, islands
and farms. They come from all over. New York and Nigeria, Las Vegas, Laos, mega
cities like Beijing and small towns like Gustavus, Alaska. Most come from Washington. Mount Vernon, Spokane, Woodinville, Federal
Way, Prosser, and Port Angeles, Odessa and Aberdeen. There’s a street or lane on this campus named
after every county in the state, and I bet you that there’s a student here from every
one of them too. I visited Yakima a few weeks ago and I talked
to students at Davis High, which produced 113 of our current students. I’m also proud to be a member of this faculty
where my colleagues invest themselves in the university as teachers, mentors, scholars,
artists, researchers. They’re unafraid to take risks and to take
their work and our university to the next level. I’m also proud of the doctors and nurses and
other health care providers at UW Madison who work every day to improve people’s health,
including mine. And we wouldn’t be a great university without
the staff members who support and advise our students, who work side by side with faculty,
and who keep our campuses, hospitals, and clinics functioning, our grounds beautiful
and safe, and who conduct the behind-the-scenes business of running a complex university like
this. And then there’s our alumni. They link us to the past and connect us to
the world, who remain part of our community no matter where they live. Our reputation is strong. The UW ranked 13th in the world and third
amongst all public universities in this year’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. And in the National Taiwan University rankings,
we were number six worldwide. In the US, we were behind Stanford, Harvard,
and Johns Hopkins, and one slot above MIT. Not bad. Now, OK. I know it’s just a number. But what I like about it and why I talked
about these ratings is they’re based on output, like the number of articles published in top
journals like Science, and by how many articles were cited. It wasn’t just reputation, which looks backward,
not forward. So in that sense, I’m proud of what it signifies. The vast and exceptional quality of the scholarship
and discovery produced by our faculty, the staff we work with, and students. Hmm. Behind Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins,
ahead of MIT. Not bad. And once again, we’ve been ranked the most
innovative public university in the country. And I love this one, because it reflects our
willingness to think outside the box and to do the unusual, the unexpected. That doesn’t mean I’m into chasing rankings,
per se. I’m not. But I am proud of the output and impact that
this set of rankings represent. This doesn’t happen just because one smart
scholar or even 100 smart scholars are working in isolation. It happens when you assemble a complex ecosystem
to support groundbreaking art, scholarship, and research that pushes the boundaries of
human knowledge. It happens when interdisciplinary thinking
is built into the system and when thousands of people working on different and varied
projects share a common vision of building a better world. The strength of our ecosystem shows up every
day in the international and national coverage that we get. It’s what’s enabled UW researchers to discover
the first two-dimensional magnet. Now I’m not exactly sure what that looks like,
but I’ve been told that it’s a discovery that could impact computing technology on the scale
of the invention of the semiconductor. It’s also what’s enabled faculty, students,
and community scholars and activists to work through our Women’s Center to produce research
that delves into the conditions that allow human trafficking to persist right here in
our state. And they’re making policy recommendations
about how to make sure that doesn’t keep happening. It’s enabled the work of our faculty and students
and law society and justice to work with prisoners in the Monroe Correctional Complex, and the
work of faculty and UW Tacoma Social Work with Girl Scouts Behind Bars, which aims to
support girls whose mothers are imprisoned. It’s enabled the innovative work by UW Bothell
School of Business and partnerships with our Evan School to reimagine philanthropy to address
pressing social issues. Our faculty carry out this work side by side
with students, because we’re above all a community of educators committed to excellence with
a very rich, a very expansive view of what it means to teach and learn. And it’s not just about what happens in the
classroom. And the proof of that excellence is all around
us in the students and graduates who are showing us what it means to be boundless in new ways. Budding lawyers who work for justice like
Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Solicitor General Noah Purcell, both alumni. They’re former leaders of student government,
and they brought the court case that halted the travel ban. Or Elese Washines, a graduate of our math
program and a Costco scholar. She’s now manager of the Yakima Nations Higher
Education Program, an assistant professor of math and education at Heritage University. I met with her too a few weeks ago, and she’s
helping to create a pipeline of native students into higher education. Here we have 17 students from the Yakima Nation
on our campuses, but also across the state. It’s also on Sophie Nop. She was our student body president at UW Tacoma. She graduated with a degree in computer science
last year, and now she’s a Fulbright scholar, conducting ethnographic participatory research
in Cambodia to help identify STEM potentials in students. When she finishes up, she hopes to enroll
in the Seattle campus’ program in Human Centered Design. She’s another double dog in the making. And since I first put this together, one of
our alums won a Nobel Prize. [APPLAUSE] And another one, a MacArthur. So I guess our students are doing pretty well. [LAUGHTER] In this case, Bob, Noah, Elise, and Sophie. Once our students, they’re now teachers, scholars,
professionals, continuing to serve their alma mater and the world. Proof of that excellence is also in the 8,000-plus
undergraduates who participated in research here. More than 5,000 engaged in public service,
and more than 2,000 completed university-affiliated internships. In countless examples, UW students are inventing
new ways to stretch, to learn, and grow through their Husky Experiences OK. We grouse sometimes. Sometimes we kind of whine. The region is becoming expensive and our pay
isn’t keeping up. Someone else is getting a new building and
we aren’t. Even worse, their new building is blocking
our view. [LAUGHTER] We didn’t get the class we wanted this quarter. And at the risk of bringing up what for some
might be a sore subject, we lost a football game. But it’s often the defeats that we learn the
most from, and we have a week to regroup. [LAUGHTER] And yes, I know about the problems with Workday. [LAUGHTER] We do have a terrific integrated services
staff working on it, and we appreciate your patience. Now I’m not just making light of these things. I know if it’s your paycheck, it’s a big deal. But despite it all and many other challenges
and hassles big and small that I haven’t mentioned, for the fourth year in a row, the Chronicle
of Higher Education named the UW a great college to work for. It was based on an anonymous survey, so people
said what they really thought. We were especially singled out for having
an environment of respect and appreciation, for strong relationships between departments
and their chairs, for our supportive teaching environment and for our collaborative governance. Also for confidence and senior leadership,
which certainly made some of us some of us Gerberding smile. None of our other peers were recognized in
as many categories. Not a one of them. And the only two peers that were recognized,
Michigan and USC, both were recognized for their high compensation. Indeed, it’s the only category that Michigan
was recognized for. So yes, we have to continue to work to improve
compensation, and we will. The data does show that money doesn’t buy
you respect or strong relationships, but you do need enough to pay the rent. I know that. So we’re going to continue to work on the
problem. But it’ll require us to make tough decisions
about the size of our faculty, staff, about our course loads, our faculty mix. These are the kind of decisions we must make
together thoughtfully, because that’s what a community does. And yes, we’ll be working with the legislature
too, because everyone in this state has an investment in keeping the UW excellent. And our reputation for excellence is well-earned. It’s based on what we’re doing today and tomorrow,
not yesterday. We’re not doing it by being selective, by
taking pride or scoring points for the number of students we turn down. In fact, almost 60% of in-state undergrads
who apply are offered admission on the Seattle campus, and it’s even higher in Bothell and
Tacoma. Still, I’ll be honest. We turn down more than I’d like, which is
why we keep growing. We strive not to be selective, but inclusive. We know that to build a better world, we need
all hands on deck, working together. That’s why a decade ago we started Husky Promise. I’m deeply proud of the impact of Husky Promise
and what it does for students like Caroline Raymundo, the child of immigrants, a biology
major. She’s volunteered her time in health clinics
as close to South Seattle and as far away as Vietnam. She also serves as a peer tutor for the OMA&D
Instructional Center. Since its inception a decade ago, over 39,000
students across our three campuses have attended one of our undergraduate programs without
paying any tuition. [APPLAUSE] Today, roughly 30% of our UW undergraduates
that are residents are attending through Husky Promise. That’s about 10,000 students today. That’s the size of a not-so-small university. Who says we don’t have a free college in our
state? [LAUGHTER] It’s right here on our campuses. Now our excellence comes from the diversity
of our community. Its breadth and depth allows us to do things
that hardly anybody else can. To work across disciplines, to tackle big,
audacious problems. The inclusively and comprehensiveness of our
community is our competitive advantage. Our Population Health Initiative is a perfect
example. It might be called a presidential initiative,
but it’s anything but top-down. It weaves together strands that were already
there. It’s built on our strengths in data or eScience,
on the comprehensiveness of our health science, on our nursing, social work, and education
programs, on all three of our campuses, on our language and cultural studies programs,
and on the biggest college of the environment in the country. That’s why we have a Fortune 500 company that
can’t be named yet, the Aga Khan Development Network, and the China CDC as partners with
us on exciting initiatives to improve health in Central America, across Asia, and in Africa. But we’re also making those connections throughout
our state and region. The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation
has partnered with King County to produce a study of health disparities. Men right here in our county, depending on
where they live, might have an 18-year gap in life expectancy. We continue to be in active discussions with
King County on ways to expand our collaboration and support our public mission. One of the things that make us boundless is,
in fact, those deep connections that we have here between the global and the local. And while we’re speaking of boundless, the
strength of our community is seen very obviously in the Be Boundless philanthropic campaign. It’s been a tremendous joy to see how deeply
our public mission has resonated with the broader community. We have alumni who are founding scholarships
in part because they too were scholarships students. We have alumni my age who still can pull out
the letter that says, you have been admitted and you have a scholarship. And they’ve been carrying this around, folded
up in their pocket or someplace in their drawer for 50 years. It’s also because even for those that didn’t
come to this university, our mission resonates. Last year, our campaign drew in a total of
$542– and let me not forget– 0.2 million. That’s more than any other public university
in the country. But even more impressive is the over 150,000
donors who contributed, an institutional best. Most of those contributions were under $500. We describe the campaign as historic because
of its ambition, $5 billion by 2020. In fact, it’s the most ambitious campaign
of any public university ever, and we will reach our goal. But I hope what I think history will remember
is not the number, but the impact that number represents. The hundreds of thousands of people who saw
in this campaign an opportunity to serve a mission greater than themselves. To all of you, thank you. Community is also about our values and about
the way in which we work together, how we recognize and support the contributions of
all our members. That’s why we continue the work on race and
equity. I’m grateful for the committed and passionate
work that Co-Chairs Ed Taylor and Rickey Hall and the entire steering committee are doing
in leading this important work. To date, over 1,000 faculty and staff have
participated in diversity training, and thousands of students have participated in difficult
conversations confronting their own biases and helping us identify and examine any institutional
policies that might be exclusionary or biased. From student activists who played a key role
in the inception of OMA&D, and happy 50th anniversary to OMA&D. [APPLAUSE] To our regents who started a Diversity Equity,
and Inclusion advisory committee, our community is working to increase social justice as we
better people’s lives. A wonderful and recent example of what we
can do when we work together is reflected in our brand new licensing agreement with
Nike. And I bet you, there’s people who never thought
I’d be bragging about that from the stage. [LAUGHTER] This was signed just last week. The new contract ensures that the Worker Rights
Consortium, a labor rights monitoring organization, has access to investigate Nike supplier factories
when they’re accused of labor violations. This was recommended by our Advisory Committee
on Trademarks & Licensing and by the United Students Against Sweatshops. In my provost town hall in 2015, I noted that
student activism has played a positive role in this university, and has had a material
influence on companies like Nike. USAS has fought tough battles on behalf of
human rights, but it’s also been willing to work with our committee structure and to collaborate
with the administration when they believe we can work together in good faith. This balanced approach has arguably played
a role in a victory for workers around the globe. It’s just one more example of what we can
do when we come together as a community. Recognize our common values, our belief that
what people have in common is far greater than what divides us. College campuses are and they’ll continue
to be center stage as we debate difficult issues on which there are a diversity of opinions. As a community of people with deeply held
values, it’s both our obligation and our opportunity to demonstrate how to disagree without shedding
our humanity. Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, “In recognizing
the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. To offer all people dignity and respect is
how we give those same gifts to ourselves.” Our values underpin our support for DACA students
and our assertion that Black Lives Matter. It’s why we stand against white nationalism,
trans and homophobia, and against the targeting of people based on race, gender, nationality,
or faith. Our values include respect for science, truth,
reason, and evidence. We honor them when we advocate for federal
investment. We honor them when we work for human rights
and dignity, whether for our neighbor suffering from homelessness or for coffee plantation
workers in Latin America. And we live up to them when we protect our
shared planet in ways that are fair and equitable. We value diversity, both as a moral good and
a practical need for everyone’s creativity, passion, and intelligence. Innovation is a powerful force, but if we
only listen to the same few voices or types of voices, we become bounded instead of boundless,
and we risk confusing novelty for innovation. Our opportunity in our labs and classrooms
at CoMotion, the Global Innovation Exchange, is to channel that powerful force into a world
of good. I know that we are a deeply determined community. Every dream we have for our future and for
our children’s future depends on that determination and the willingness to work together, even
when, especially when it’s hard. We’re all essential to the great tasks that
lie ahead of you, ahead of us. Thank you for being part of this community. You’re not only deeply valued. The world urgently needs you. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. [APPLAUSE] CREW: If you have a question, please make
your way to one of the microphones in the aisle. For anyone with accessibility needs, please
raise your hand and an attendant will bring a microphone to you. While people are making their way to the microphones,
we’ll begin with a question that was submitted via email. This is from Beth Hammermeister, Manager of
Physical Operations in Genome Sciences who writes, Dear President Cauce, while construction
of new buildings on the Seattle campus continues apace, funding for maintenance is inadequate. Departments across campus are frustrated because
maintenance of all kinds, including routine maintenance such as window washing, carpet
cleaning, power washing, preventative maintenance, and the $1 billion in deferred maintenance
is woefully underfunded. One, are you working with the provost and
the Board of Regents to find creative sources for funding? And two, has any money from the Be Boundless
capital campaign been earmarked for maintenance? ANA MARI CAUCE: OK. Well, thank you. We definitely– there’s no question that we
struggled with deferred maintenance, and it brings up the sore issue of the capital budget
this year, which still hasn’t been funded. We didn’t get to the problem of a billion
dollars or so in deferred maintenance overnight. It’s been building up over years. And quite frankly, almost every university
that’s our age, even the wealthy universities, have deferred maintenance problems. We do work together to create a hierarchy
of what’s most important. For example, making sure that we have seismic
stabilization. So we do have a hierarchy. We’re getting to things one at a time. The truth is that the first step– one of
my advisors used to say that the first way to dig out of a hole– the first way to get
out of a hole is to stop digging. And so one of the things that we’re doing
is as we build new buildings, we’re making sure that they have built into them funds
for continued maintenance so that we don’t keep adding to the problem. We’re going to keep chipping away at it, but
in truth, we can’t stop doing some new things. We can’t stop building. And quite frankly, at this point, almost all
the building is overwhelmingly built with private funds, whether we’re talking about
the new Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science building that’s about 80% or 90% private funds,
the Population Health building that, again, is about 80% to 90% private funds. That’s the situation we’re in now, not just
us. But all the four-years and all the community
colleges are trying very hard to make the case to the legislature. So we won’t keep on digging. We’ll be chipping away at it. But we can’t stop doing things that we need
to do to be a first-class university. CREW: We’ll go to the far microphone here
first, and then alternate back and forth. AMY HAGOPIAN: Thank you. Hi, Ana Mari. Thank you for your good words and your good
leadership. I’m Amy Hagopian in the School of Public Health. I also serve on the board of American Association
of University Professors and on the Steering Committee of the Faculty Forward union. Both those organizations are worried about
our shifting of balance to private sector support and away from the state of Washington. I personally direct a master’s degree program
that is in the now Continuum College. Used to be Professional & Continuing Education. And now more than half the master’s students
on this campus are in programs that are self-sustaining, meaning they are paying the fully loaded cost
of their education with no support from the state of Washington. My students are paying $50,000 for their master’s
degrees, which in public health is just not a good fiscal investment. So we now have this parallel track of two
different kinds of master’s degree programs– privatized and those still in the public sector. And I would urge us to make some efforts to
figure out how to make a single-payer system that is appropriately subsidized, depending
on what people are going to earn when they graduate. But running parallel track systems is really
duplicative, really expensive, really complicated, and sucks up lots of staff time. ANA MARI CAUCE: OK. You know, thank you for– you’re absolutely
right in terms of not having the kinds of state support that we need and relying more
on private support. It’s a perfect example in terms of how we’re
building new buildings. So it’s happening everywhere. I do want to take just a little bit that they’re
not 100% self-sufficient. They’re not– you know, faculty members who
teach in them often have their benefits paid other places. They’re often not paying full rent. But the subsidies are quite small compared
to everything else. And we do have– I particularly– I’m less
concerned about that when you have programs where students are going to go out and work
in the private sector and be able to pay it back relatively easily. I’m more worried about that in programs like
public health or in other health care professionals where they aren’t going to be making– teachers,
social workers. That’s one of the things that I say when I
go down to Olympia, and I urge you to come down with me. I know that we know some people in common
that are on our side, but we need to get more. You know, one of the things that often happens
in Olympia that I find particularly troubling is higher ed gets set up against social services. And one of the things I say, look. If you want– you know, if you care about
social services, you need social workers who are going to be able to work at your settings. And we’re graduating them, and if their debt
loads are too high, they’re not going to be able to do this public work. So you know, please come down with me. Let’s continue to make the case. I do think that we want to involve faculty
more. I think the hardest case is for graduate education
somehow. It’s hard enough to get them to focus on undergraduate
education, and that’s something I’ve been talking about. But let’s work together with faculty senate,
and let’s try and make the case, because you’re right. CREW: This close mic’s on. ALEXANDER TUFEL: Good evening. I’m Alexander Tufel. I’m from The Daily, and I had a question for
you. What will the college do to respect speech
on campus while also protecting students from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other dangerous
extremists? ANA MARI CAUCE: Your question is well-timed,
and I’d urge you to look– I just blogged about that, because I was at a conference
at University of Chicago where we talked about those kinds of issues. There are various viewpoints as to why we
respect or honor the First Amendment. I want to be clear. There are some people who say it’s for educational
purposes. I think that we have speakers who absolutely,
there’s nothing educational about what they have to say. It’s not that I don’t think– I do think we
learn more from tough debate, and I think there are speakers that I would very much
disagree with that I would love to be able to debate and to have on campus. But we’ve got some folks that are here to
hurl stones, so to speak, metaphorically. If they did it for real, we could tell them
not to come. And I don’t think they have a whole lot to
say. The reason why we respect the First Amendment,
you know, first of all, as a public university, we’re bound to do it. But I think more than that– and I think if
you think about what’s been happening lately, I think you begin to realize why it starts
getting dangerous to try and shut down some groups. We have a president who would love to shut
down people having a very eloquent and totally nonviolent protest like kneeling when they’re
playing the national anthem. He suggested that we should take away the
tax subsidy from the NFL if they allow players to do this. It’ll be very– there’s a really good article
about why that won’t work and why they’re protected by the First Amendment. We’ve been seeing more speakers that we would
consider progressive being shouted down. You know, folks like the white supremacists
and white nationalists, I call them free riders on democracy. They really do push. But I think at the end of the day, we have
to protect their rights. Because if not, we start setting up the framework
for a more authoritarian regime. We have to realize that when you say that
we should not allow those speakers on campus, what you’re in essence saying is you want
to give the government control over what gets said. And I don’t think this is the time to be having
that discussion, quite frankly. What I do think is that we might want to think
together about how to be strategic. Because at times, some of these protests are
giving them exactly what they want, and are giving them more of a stage rather than not. ALEXANDER TUFEL: Thank you. CREW: Go ahead. DAVID WEST: Good evening. Thank you for your remarks. My name is David West. I’m a UW Evans School graduate, and I work
with the U District Alliance for Equity & Livability. At the regents meeting last week, there was
a presentation by community and labor representatives about the UW Master Plan after the staff presentation. And after those presentations, which focused
on concerns about the impacts of the UW’s development and growth plans over the next
10 years on affordable housing, transit, and child care, regents Rogelio, Rice, and Tamaki
all wondered why those issues weren’t being addressed in the Master Plan. And I’m wondering if you are open to having
that discussion and making sure that those topics and their impacts are addressed in
the Master Plan. ANA MARI CAUCE: Absolutely. One of the things that we’ve just done recently
is we opened a– well, we’re building– I shouldn’t say we opened, it’s not ready yet–
but in essence, an apartment housing complex that has 150 units that are all for low-cost
housing with actually UW staff and faculty and students being the first priority for
those affordable housing units. We are as concerned about the affordability
crisis in this region as our community is, because we have to hire faculty and staff. We have to attract graduate students. And when they put in these prices, the prices
of housing, it makes it much more difficult for us to do this. So we will be working together. And we’re beginning– you know, some of how
I would consider the– this is going to be a bad analogy, so please forgive me. But in some ways, I think about the affordability
crisis here a little bit like climate change. And what I mean by that is not that– climate
change happens. But what’s happening because of man-made emissions,
et cetera, is it’s happening so rapidly that we can’t adapt to it quickly enough. That’s what’s happening here. Quite frankly, five years ago, I would not
have thought we’d be talking about the prices that we’re talking about now. They’ve happened so quickly that, quite frankly,
we don’t have the plans that we should. We need to be thinking about– you know, I
never thought that we’d be talking about– thinking about faculty and graduate housing
the way that some of– that New York and Boston and we see in San Francisco. These are issues that are very much front
and center for me. There’s a number of things that keep me up
at night, and affordability is one of them. Because we talk about tuition all the time. Quite frankly, the cost of living is higher
than tuition, at least in Seattle. And you know, we’ve got graduate students,
we’ve got faculty, we’ve got staff. And it’s much better when they can get here
quickly. The light rail hopefully may give us some
possibilities of doing some of that growth at the end of the line, but we’ll work together
on that. Thank you. I worry about it too. CREW: Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hi. I guess my question was, I was concerned about
certain maintenance in certain buildings across campus, especially new ones, specifically
Denny. Because when I was just in there today specifically,
it was very, very– extremely warm, and I was concerned because I was like, well, isn’t
it supposed to be air conditioned? And I don’t know. I don’t– I’ve always considered, well, I
thought all the new buildings were supposed to have some sort of air conditioning, and
even my professor brought up that it was warm as well. So I was just curious about that certain aspect
of temperature and keeping cool in classrooms. ANA MARI CAUCE: Yeah. I think that right now– I mean, let’s come
back and let me know how you’re feeling about two weeks from now. And the reason why I’m saying– [LAUGHTER] –no, no no. The reason why I’m saying now is we are going
through a transition from warm to cold, and I think all our buildings are trying to get
it just right. It’s taking a little bit of time. Yours is too cold, mine is too hot. But you know, I think as we start getting
into a more stable weather pattern, I hope we won’t see that. AUDIENCE: OK. AUDIENCE: Billy Kroider, School of Public
Health and alumnus of Evans. You talked a short while ago without naming
him about the Milo confrontation. And you would have to agree, I think, that
the police response from the university police force was at best inadequate. The police chief’s Annual Report was issued
just within the past week or two, and it noted that it is against the Washington Administrative
Code to possess firearms on campus. Couldn’t at least at a minimum, couldn’t the
university police force have enforced that regulation and banned all participants who
were armed from campus? Just completely avoided an arms confrontation
by evicting them before the confrontation occurred? ANA MARI CAUCE: Yeah, I can assure you, if
the police knew that someone was there with firearms, she would have been evicted. There’s no question about it, and the individuals
were banned from campus immediately. They’re not allowed on campus, but we also
don’t have in our public square– and I hope we don’t get to it. I think there’s conversations now about all
hotels having metal detectors after Las Vegas. I hope we don’t get to the point where we
have to close down campus and all our entrances have to have metal detectors. AUDIENCE: I think that event might have warranted
[INAUDIBLE] ANA MARI CAUCE: Metal detectors? AUDIENCE: Well, there were those who opposed
it. ANA MARI CAUCE: But I’m saying, where would
we have put them? See, what we have to think about– and I’m
happy to have this conversation– is what kind of campus do we want to be? Are we going to, like I say, build– in order
to have metal detectors to come into Red Square, we’re talking about having to build moats
so that there’s only a few entrances. Is that really the kind of campus we want
to be? Those are questions that– because then there’s
other things we wouldn’t be able to do in Red Square. But I want to be clear, there’s no question
that if the police confiscated some Molotov cock– you know, they confiscated a lot of
stuff that they saw. This was a woman who was carrying it in her
purse, and they didn’t see it. They didn’t confiscate it. But yes, guns are not allowed on campus. CREW: [INAUDIBLE] here. AUDIENCE: My name is [INAUDIBLE]. I’m sort of a newcomer to Seattle. I moved from New York to here about a year
ago. I’m an affiliated professor in restorative
dentistry and oral surgery. I knew some faculty at UW, but I never knew
the depth and the breadth of this university, how large it is. And your talk really was very enlightening. I’ve been following UW today on student papers
and local paper, and I’m very impressed with your leadership, how much you have made inclusiveness
and diversity as a part of the university. So that’s wonderful. I actually organize a meeting called Ethics
in Biology, Engineering, and Medicine. I sent a letter, and I would like to invite
you– that would be in Miami next year. Because of your views, it would be wonderful
to have you there. My question is a little bit– you talked about
the state of union of UW, and that’s the purpose of this talk. But if you look into the country as a whole,
or our whole planet, do you feel more positive now than compared to 10 years? Are we moving in the right directions? I would like to know your feelings. ANA MARI CAUCE: Well, you know, one of the
things that we were talking about at the conference in Chicago on free speech was that there were
some people who shall remain nameless who were kind of going, college students today,
you know, as if all of a sudden you know, things are worse today. They’re more coddled, they’re this, they’re
the other. I pointed out to them that when I first left
home, it was for graduate school. I was in graduate school at Yale, and I was
in a hall where the room had two rooms. There was a big room with a fireplace and
a window seat. Then there was a little bathroom. Then there was a small room that basically
held a cot. And it was cheaper, so I did have that room. But the reason why– the difference in the
two rooms is they were for Yale students who brought their valets. Talk about coddled. You know, talk about not being exposed to
diverse opinions. You know, I mean, I think that the way I feel
about this moment in time is it’s the best of times and the worst of times. I mean, I don’t have to begin to get– to
express the worst of times we’re all familiar with them. I think that last year at this date, we were
at a more innocent time. And I think that we have been reacting to
a lot of negative. But I also think, when I think about some
of the amazing work that our students are doing with a reach– I mean, they’re doing
things that have global impact. The way that our departments are working together
to do great things like the Population Health Initiative, we actually understand we can
diagnose communities. Yesterday, I was at– there’s the ARCS Luncheon. It’s a group of women, actually, who have
been funding scholarships for science. And we had students presenting their work. There was one student who was talking about
the work that he’s doing with stem cells to repair heart tissue. There was another student who is using basically
your phone to– it was really fascinating. You can put your finger on the camera, and
somehow it can look at the color of your blood– don’t ask me how– and diagnose anemia. He is taking his program into the Amazon to
pilot test how well it’s working. I mean, there’s stuff that to me is just magic
going on. I also think that people are beginning to
organize in ways that perhaps we had gotten kind of a little lazier in the past. So I see– you know, I’m energized by both. I’m a clinical psychologist by training, and
one of the things that research tends to suggest is it’s during times of crisis that things
become unsettled where it’s most possible to have change. I think we need to get together and be very
strategic about what we want that change to look like, because I do think it’s more possible
now than during periods that are more stable. So the answer is yes and no. [LAUGHTER] AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. CREW: We have time for one more question. MICHAEL VARGAS: Yes. Good evening, president. My name is Michael Vargas. I am an economics major here UW, and my question
is the following. What is being done by the University of Washington
to protect academic integrity from undue donor influence? Now my question is motivated by the fact that
the Charles Koch foundation has donated around $17,000 to the University of Washington. This same foundation has been documented by
the UnKoch My Campus campaign at Florida State University to have influenced course syllabi
in which professors were to teach their Koch-approved courses. This goes without saying, but the Koch Foundation
has donated millions to FSU. So what is being done to ensure what happened
at FSU does not happen here at UW? Thank you. ANA MARI CAUCE: OK. Well I don’t know the specific– the specifics
of what you’re talking about. Please make sure that, you know– please email
me the information. I can certainly tell you that $17,000 isn’t
enough for– but what I can say is I’ve been here a long time. And when I was chair of psychology, there
was a foundation that actually wanted to give us a significant amount of money with six
zeros and some big numbers in front. And we were very excited about it. Actually, we actually spent some money ahead
of getting the dollars. Then all of a sudden, we were asked that they
wanted to see the papers that were coming out of the research that was funded by it. They made very clear that they didn’t want
to be– that they have nothing to do with whether they got published or not. They just wanted to see them. We walked away. As a university, we walked away because there
was no way that we could ask our faculty or wanted to ask our faculty to do that, even
if it was with the understanding that nothing would happen. So you know, I can assure you, I mean, that
if someone is giving dollars, either for something that’s not a priority, something we’re not
interested in, we’ve said no before. We say no– I mean, this is going to sound
really simplistic, but just as an example, there are people who want to donate artwork. But you know, we already have a lot that’s
stored, et cetera, and if it doesn’t fit into what we want to do, we say no. And we would say no if someone is donating
money that we somehow feel is tainted. So please let me know about this particular,
and we’ll look into it. CREW: All right. That’s all. ANA MARI CAUCE: OK. Let’s eat. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]