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Changes in leadership, students, and buildings discussed at Board of Regents meeting

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New leadership introduced: Provost and School of Law dean

The board of regents (BOR) welcomed Dr. Mark Richards as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Richards, who succeeds former provost Gerald (Jerry) Baldasty, was named Jan. 9 and started his appointment at the beginning of this month.

“The University of Washington is a place with a buzz about it,” Richards said to the board. “There is a sense that this is an exciting place for young people to come.”

Richards previously worked at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served simultaneously as the dean of mathematical and physical sciences and the executive dean of the College of Letters and Science.

In addition to his position as provost, Richards also holds a faculty appointment as a professor of Earth and Space Sciences (ESS).    

The BOR also welcomed Mario L. Barnes, the new dean of the School of Law. Until his selection, Barnes served as a professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs at the University of California, Irvine.

Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master of laws from the University of Wisconsin.

Barnes has received attention for his research on the impact of gender and race in areas like education, employment, and criminal law.

Freshman class of 2018 will be the largest ever

Administrators from each of the three UW campuses updated the BOR on the profiles of the incoming freshman classes.

The UW Seattle class of 2022 will be the university’s largest ever first-year class, totaling approximately 7,050 students. It will include a record number of Washington state residents.   

The UW continues to make its commitment to diversity a priority, focusing in particular on attracting more students from underrepresented populations. After the freshman class of 2017, it will be the second most diverse in the university’s history.

The UW made two significant changes to its application process this year.  

For the first time, Seattle decided to forego its usual independent application, and instead joined more than 140 other public and private colleges and universities — including a handful of Ivy League institutions — on the Coalition Application.

The Seattle campus also implemented a direct-to-college admission program for the College of Engineering.    

According to Steve Syverson, the UW Bothell assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, UW Bothell will join UW Seattle on the Coalition Application in 2019.

New Health Sciences Education building approved

The BOR granted Stage-1 approval for the creation of a new Health Sciences Education building, agreeing to a state-funded pre-construction budget of $10 million and the proposed south campus location.

The additional space is needed to promote the UW Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Initiative (IPE). The program is the result of collaboration between the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, pharmacy, public health, and social work, and is designed to promote partnership between all categories of health care professionals.

The new building will add existing space to the T-wing of the Magnuson Health Sciences Center, which is not large or modern enough to meet the needs of the IPE.

The new building will “offer the flexibility and adaptability necessary to allow health care professionals to work together as teams,” Peggy Odegard, professor and associate dean of the School of Pharmacy said to the board.

Further action will be required by the BOR in September 2019, when it will need to approve a full budget and funding plan.

Reach reporter Lisa Gyuro at Twitter: @lisamgyuro

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