Campus progress: Winter quarter insights and exciting project updates unveiled

Husky Commons, legislative advocacy, and more: A recap of UW Tacoma’s informative campus update.

UWT held its latest campus update on January 24, 2024, providing  insights into various aspects ranging from enrollment statistics to upcoming projects and legislative updates. The meeting covered a diverse agenda, reflecting the university’s commitment to transparency, collaboration and social equity. 

The meeting commenced with a discussion on winter quarter enrollment, showcasing a 5% increase from the previous year.  

Highlighting the positive trend, Joe said, “Our six-year graduation rate has improved to 77%, reflecting our dedication to student success.” 

Sylvia James, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration, shared exciting developments about the Husky Commons Project, particularly focusing on the convenience store aspect. The project aims to create a vibrant and inclusive space on campus.  

“We are aiming for a March 25 opening for the enhanced convenience store, offering not just products but also healthy options and smoothies,” said James. 

Chancellor Sheila Edwards Lange addressed the ongoing legislative session, emphasizing the university’s proposal for environmental improvements on campus.  

“We’ve requested $5 million for retrofitting buildings to make them more sustainable,” said Lange.  

The update highlighted the university’s forward-looking approach, preparing for future legislative sessions. 

UW Tacoma unites for a campus update, charting a course for future excellence. Photo by Raghvi Baloni.

Amanda Figueroa, Associate Vice Chancellor for Social Mobility, presented the Husky Post-Prison Pathways program, which aims to increase access to higher education for individuals with criminal backgrounds. Figueroa stressed the importance of centering the leadership of formerly incarcerated individuals in the program.  

The program underscores the university’s commitment to inclusivity, aiming to address the stark educational attainment gaps observed among formerly incarcerated individuals. Figures shared during the presentation revealed that only 4% of those with a criminal history have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 29% of the general population. 

The program is set to officially launch this coming autumn, with planning and preparations well underway. This includes the recruitment of a program director, establishment of a dedicated program space, and ongoing collaborations with facilities for the physical enhancement of the working space. 

The campus update concluded with a Q&A session, allowing attendees to seek clarification and engage directly with the presenters. Questions ranged from the specifics of enrollment strategies to details about the Husky Post-Prison Pathways program. 

In summarizing the event, Chancellor Lange encouraged ongoing collaboration and input from the community.  

“If you have great ideas for legislative proposals, please share them. We should be asking for something every legislative session,” she urged. 

Information about upcoming town hall and campus update events can be found here: