UW president on the move
at 2:57pm by Joe Copeland
Updated at 6:50 p.m. University of Washington President Michael Young said this afternoon that he is leaving to become president of Texas A&M, which boasts of being the sixth largest public university in America.
Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com notes that Young has been at the U, which has so far declined to comment, for less than four years. And he will take over duties in the spring, forcing the UW to name an interim leader. In a statement posted on the university's web site, the UW Regents chair Bill Ayers said, "The news about UW President Michael Young and Texas A&M University has come as a surprise to the Board of Regents."
In his statement, posted with generous remarks about him from Ayers, Young said, "“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." The part about fresh ideas could leave many others at the UW wondering why they hadn't heard more of those during his low-key tenure here.
For the record, the UW may be slightly smaller in enrollment, but it's 26th best in the world on The Times of London's ranking of universities. Texas A&M clocks in at 141st — right behind the Colorado School of Mines. — J.C.