University of Washington, Bothell is set for growth
By JOSHUA HICKS
Kenmore Reporter Reporter
September 1, 2008 · Updated 6:02 PM
It may be harvest season, but the University of Washington, Bothell is thinking “blossom.”
Officials at the school are forging plans to make the branch campus larger than all but one of Washington’s liberal-arts colleges.
The university last month unveiled a 10- to 15-year outline called “The 21st Century Campus Initiative,” which includes goals and strategies for growth.
Virtually everything — including enrollment, facilities, faculty and programs — is slated for expansion.
The school plans to offer new degrees in biology and electrical engineering beginning in the fall of 2009.
Those additions are part UW-Bothell’s plan for expanding its science, math, technology and math programs, collectively known as STEM.
A new social-science degree in communications and media studies is also expected by fall 2009.
The school expects to hire 12 additional faculty members this year to support its upcoming programs, and officials are exploring options for new classroom and research facilities, as well.
The school has also considered adding a student center, according to UW-Bothell Vice Chancellor Susan Jeffords.
The state legislature will have to decide whether to provide money for those capital projects first.
UW-Bothell is also ready to implement previous plans for introducing an interdisciplinary-arts degree this fall.
New programs in visual, literary and performing arts, as well as foreign language and culture, are anticipated for later years as part of the most recent initiative.
The Bothell branch campus had previously offered five undergraduate and six graduate degrees, all related to business, education, nursing, computing and interdisciplinary arts and sciences.
Jeffords said the school’s new programming comes in response to demand from businesses throughout the greater Northshore and Puget Sound regions, as well as from incoming freshman and community colleges.
The Bothell branch campus has been morphing for several years now, adding new degrees and opening enrollment to freshman for the first time in 2006.
The changes have caused a shift in UW-Bothell’s core demographic, which used to consist of transfers.
“A lot of the students who came here were working full time, and it was difficult for them to commute anywhere else,” Jeffords said. “More people are choosing the school now because of its programs, and we’re attracting students from a broader region.”
UW-Bothell experienced the largest increase in admissions applications among Washington’s state schools last year, according to Assistant Vice Chancellor Hung Dang.
The branch campus will bring in 250 students this fall, representing a 56 percent increase over the previous class.
The school is not hesitating to move forward with its expansion plans despite talk of a new UW branch in Everett.
There has been debate over whether a new school would create competition for the Bothell campus.
State lawmakers are expected to take up the issue during the next legislative session.
“We have to move forward with the responsibilities we’ve been given by the legislature,” Jeffords said. “Until we hear different from them, we’ll continue to do the job they gave us to do here, which is serving the needs of students in the north counties and providing opportunities to receive a UW-quality education.”Contact Kenmore Reporter Reporter Joshua Hicks at email@example.com or 425-483-3732.