UW Tacoma leadership celebrates student success and announces campus developments 

In a dynamic campus update, leaders at the University of Washington Tacoma shared inspiring insights into student success, budget updates, and exciting campus developments.

On November 21, Chancellor Sheila Edwards Lange kicked off a campus update, emphasizing UW Tacoma’s commitment to student success. Discussions centered on equity gaps, graduation rates, and first-year retention. Despite progress, concerns lingered about disparities compared to sister campuses. 

Chancellor Lange said, “Our student success teams are advancing strategies for retention, graduation rates, and overall student experience.”  

Positive news on fall enrollment, critical for the budget, was highlighted. She commended the Admissions and Outreach teams for boosting enrollment amid declining graduate numbers, recognizing their contribution to a positive learning environment. 

Mentha Hynes-Wilson, Vice Chancellor for student affairs, celebrated successes, attributing increased enrollment to strategic planning and modern technology. Challenges in retaining returning students were acknowledged, emphasizing the community’s role in fostering a sense of belonging. 

She emphasized the shift in enrollment strategies, moving from traditional methods, such as college fairs and school visits, to leveraging modern technology and social media. Hynes-Wilson introduced a new admissions website, urging the campus community to explore its features and become acquainted with the resources available. She issued a call to action, urging everyone to share information about guaranteed admission programs and upcoming application deadlines. 

“We indeed did it. Give yourselves a round of applause,” Hynes-Wilson said, acknowledging the collective effort to navigate changes in the educational landscape.  

Students and faculty gathered to hear about UWT updates. | Photo by Raghvi Baloni

One way that the university is attempting to support student retention is through programs such as the AAPI Thrive Scholars initiative. The initiative, aimed at promoting student retention, was introduced by Nestor, the AAPI Thrive Project Director. Excitement was expressed for the inaugural cohort of 19 students.  

“Our AAPI Thrive Scholars are making remarkable strides in their academic journeys. This program is not just about retention; it’s about creating a supportive and inclusive environment for our students,” Nestor said. 

Students, some speaking publicly for the first time, showcased their community strength through powerful poems and a collaborative scene. 

Vice Chancellor Andrew Harris discussed academic achievements, budget updates, and faculty initiatives. Fifteen faculty searches across five schools were launched. Collaborations with faculty assembly leadership on workload equity and support for research and faculty development were highlighted. 

“We have launched fifteen full-time faculty searches across five schools, fostering new program growth and existing program nourishment,” Vice Chancellor Harris said. 

Vice Chancellor Sylvia James addressed budget monitoring, Workday implementation, and plans for an inclusive budget process. Acknowledging challenges, she emphasized progress in enhanced monitoring.  

“We are in our second year of enhanced monitoring, and the Office of Planning and Budget has confirmed the successful submission of our reports,” Vice Chancellor James stated.  

She also announced the formation of a Budget Advisory Committee, emphasizing the importance of engaging and participating in the budget process. 

UW Tacoma’s update highlighted leadership’s dedication to academic excellence, financial stability and student success. The campus community’s collective efforts and groundbreaking initiatives like AAPI Thrive promise continued growth and innovation.