UW President Ana Mari Cauce announces decision to step down

SEATTLE — University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce announced Wednesday that she will step down from her leadership role at the end of her second five-year term in June 2025. According to UW, she will return to a faculty position, a transition planned for several years with the UW Board of Regents.

In her upcoming final year in office, Cauce said she is committed to advancing the work of the UW and ensuring a smooth transition.

“Throughout the remainder of my term – and my life – I will do everything in my power to ensure the UW continues to support learning, discovery and service now and for all the generations to come.”

Cauce’s career at the UW began in 1986 as an assistant professor of psychology. She then progressed to department chair of both American Ethnic Studies and Psychology, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and finally provost, before being selected as interim president.

Cauce was named the UW’s 33rd president in 2015, and became the first woman, Latina, and openly gay person to serve as president.

Beyond these historic firsts, the impact of her presidency touched all corners of campus life, enhancing access to higher education for students, advancing research and patient care, uniting disciplines to address global challenges, and fostering the UW’s relationships with communities near and far.

The UW praised Cauce’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, advocating for the Washington College Grant, and her decisive action in college athletics, including moving to the Big Ten Conference to create more opportunities for UW student-athletes to continue to compete in and win national championships.

They also noted the massive growth in the University’s work toward advancing research and patient care, including opening multiple health centers and formalizing the UW’s partnership with Fred Hutch Cancer Center. She also introduced the Husky Promise, which covers tuition at the UW for Washington residents who need it most.

“While I never imagined that my path would lead me here when I arrived as an assistant professor almost 40 years ago, the chance to lead this great public university has been an immense honor and a wonderful experience. I’m deeply grateful to be part of this incredible community that creates so much positive impact in the world,” Cauce said.

Cauce said she plans to use the next year to shore up support for higher education in the Legislature, work to encourage civil discourse and learning across differences, advance interdisciplinary research and teaching, break down traditional academic silos, and ensure a smooth transition to the Big Ten.

The Board of Regents will share details about the search for a successor in the weeks to come.

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