President Michael K. Young, after a four year stint with the University of Washington, will be leaving to further his career pursuits at Texas A&M. Young, who became president of UW in July 2011, was the sole finalist of Texas A&M’s year long hunt for a new president. Upon this announcement, only three weeks remained until Young took his new seat as President of the Aggies. The unanimous vote by the Texas Board of Regents placed him in the seat, but by law his hiring cannot be confirmed until 21 days after the vote.
This development came as a great surprise to the UW community. “I’m still in shock” said the Provost and Executive Vice President of UW Ana Mari Cauce in a statement to the Seattle Times. Cauce was selected by the UW board of regents to take the role of interim president effective March 2, 2015. Bill Ayer, Chair of the Board of Regents said in a statement published by UW Today, “The news about UW President Michael Young and Texas A&M University has come as a surprise to the Board of Regents. We are saddened and disappointed at the prospect of President Young departing from the UW, but we certainly wish him and Marti [president Young’s wife] well.”
As the colloquial saying goes “everything is bigger in Texas,” and so it seems to be for their university. With an enrollment of over 55,000 students at Texas A&M College Station campus in the fall and just shy of 45,000 student enrollment in the fall at the UW Seattle campus; Texas A&M is bigger by main campus enrollment alone.
Both UW and Texas A&M being research schools seems to appeal to Young. In a statement regarding Texas A&M he said they are, “poised to be one of the greatest research universities in America.” According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, with the Texas A&M University Systems endowment of over $11 billion, A&M completely overshadow UW’s $2.8 billion. Texas A&M System Chancellor, John Sharp, said in a statement, “Texas A&M is already the largest dollar-wise research institution in the Southwest.” In regards to Young, Sharp stated, “I think he was pleased with that…I spent a great deal of time showing him what the budgets were and what the future budgets could be and where the money’s coming from.”
Now, Young’s salary will be bigger in Texas too. According to Sharp, “[Young] will make a darn good salary for a college president and will be one of the finest paid ones in the country.” Young’s base salary at the UW is a whopping $622,008 and had received a 6.2 percent raise in October of 2014. If he would have stayed until June 2016 he stood to receive a $1 million dollar deferred compensation payment. Since he is leaving he gets none of it. Yet Texas has him covered as Sharp stated, “he’ll be paid darn well.”
All in all, it looks like President Young will be well received at Texas A&M. Declining direct statement to The Ledger, Young said in a statement to UW Today, “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.”