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February 3, 2015 at 11:25 AM

UW President Michael Young to move to Texas A&M

Update | 9:25 p.m.

Full story can now be found here, with thoughts about Young’s departure from Young, UW faculty and students, Washington lawmakers and Texas A&M officials.

Update | 5:05 p.m.

In three weeks, University of Washington President Michael K. Young will officially take the president’s job at Texas A&M University, university officials confirmed Tuesday.

“He’s been offered the position, and accepted it,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said Tuesday. “In 21 days, he will be the next president of Texas A&M.”

Sharp’s comments came immediately after regents for the Texas A&M University System unanimously voted to name Young the university’s next president.  Under Texas law, the regents must wait at least 21 days to confirm his hiring.

Sharp said the timing of Young’s arrival in College Station, Texas, is merely a formality. He is now negotiating with Young over a lucrative compensation package.

“He will be one of the best-paid college presidents in the state of Texas,” Sharp said. “He probably won’t make what an assistant football coach makes, but he’ll be paid darn well.”

Texas A&M, which Sharp described as the largest research university in the Southwest, started focusing on Young as its next president late last year.  He said two head-hunting firms identified Young as one of the top 10 university presidents in the nation.

Texas A&M officials were attracted by Young’s national reputation and his track record while leading the University of Utah and later the UW. In particular, Sharp praised Young’s success at broadening research and commercialization ventures — taking ideas and discoveries and turning them into marketable products.  At the UW, Young’s efforts helped launch a record number of start-up companies, and he pushed UW to become a national leader in licensing technology.

Sharp first traveled to Seattle to meet Young in November and “asked him to return the courtesy,” he said.

Young and his wife later spent two to three days meeting with administrators, faculty and students at Texas A&M.

“He was really surprised and fell in love with the place in pretty short order,” Sharp said. “It was just a few weeks after that when we were able to come to an agreement that he’d be our next president.”

— Lewis Kamb

 Update |  4:20 p.m.:

It’s official now:  The University of Washington has announced that Michael Young is the sole finalist for the president’s post at Texas A&M University.  The UW says that Young is expected to start at Texas A&M in the spring.

In a news release, the UW included this statement from Young:

Deciding to be a candidate for the presidency of Texas A&M University was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I was not looking to leave the University of Washington, but the allure of the recruitment process led to conversations in which the opportunity to bring new leadership and fresh ideas to another outstanding university presented itself with some force.

My time at the University of Washington without question has been the most rewarding of my professional career to date. The University is one of America’s great universities, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here. There are many exciting initiatives in motion and much to look forward to. I believe my successor will have ample opportunity to build on what the outstanding leadership, faculty, staff and students at the University have under way — and of course develop new initiatives of his or her own.

The UW has many wonderful friends and supporters, both here in the Northwest and around the globe. I am grateful to all of them for the support they have shown me and Marti and for their undying loyalty to the institution. I am also grateful to my many colleagues on the faculty and staff, and to our exceptional students. They have made my job relatively easy — they have achieved the many accomplishments of the university and deserve full credit. I will miss them all enormously.”

Original post | 11:25 a.m.:

A University of Washington source has confirmed a Texas Tribune story that UW President Michael Young will be named the sole finalist for the president’s job at Texas A&M University. Texas A&M’s Board of Regents is expected to make the announcement at 3:30 p.m. today, Pacific time.

But officially, UW officials aren’t saying anything yet.

“It’s a story out of Texas, and that’s the rumor down there,” said UW spokesman Norm Arkans. “If it’s true, we’ll have to see what the Texas A&M Board of Regents does. And if they do something, we’ll have a statement.”

Young, 65, arrived at the University of Washington in April 2011, after serving as president of the University of Utah.

At the UW, Young makes a base salary of $622,008, but he is eligible for a deferred compensation payment of nearly $1 million if he stays until June 2016. If he leaves, he will receive none of that.

He received a 6.2 percent salary increase in October 2014, and at the time the UW Regents described him as performing “at exceptional levels by virtually any measure.”

The previous year, in October 2013, Young received a 4 percent raise. At that time, however, the regents gave him a more tepid review, merely describing his performance as “solid.”

Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, Michael Young, University of Washington


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