The University of Washington Board of Regents named Provost Phyllis Wise as interim president while a replacement is found for Mark Emmert.
Wise is the chief academic and budget officer for the university. She will be the first woman and the first Asian-American to serve as university president when she takes over in the fall.
“I am grateful to the Board of Regents for giving me the opportunity to provide leadership at this critical juncture,” Wise said in a news release.
Emmert announced in April that he was leaving the university to head the NCAA.
Wise will be paid $621,000 a year as interim president, including $471,000 in salary and $150,000 in deferred compensation. She was paid $559,000 as provost.
Wise, a professor of physiology and biophysics, biology, and obstetrics and gynecology, served as dean dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis from 2002 to 2005 and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky from 1993 to 2002. She is active in research on issues pertaining to women’s health.
Last year, she was elected to the Nike board of directors and donates her compensation for the athletic apparel maker to support scholarships at the university.
Wise faces daunting budget cuts, among other challenges, in the upcoming academic year.
In an effort to close a $2.8 billion budget shortfall, the Legislature cut the UW’s operating budget for the 2010-11 academic year by $20.6 million. That’s likely to mean higher tuition, fewer student services and the elimination of hundreds of jobs such as teaching assistants.
The cuts, which were passed as part of the state’s 2010 supplemental operating budget on April 12, are in addition to cuts made to the UW in the state’s biennial budget that covers the 2009-11 period. Together, they mean that the UW will lose a third of its state funding over three years, according to UW administrators.
Emmert said he didn’t seek out the NCAA job. He signed a five-year contract as UW president in July 2009.
“The job wasn’t available. It wasn’t on my radar screen,” he said in April. It became available after the last NCAA president died in September.