21st Century Campus Initiative

Read the Plan

Purpose and Goals

The University of Washington Bothell (UWB) is one of three campuses of the University of Washington (UW), an internationally renowned research university. As a publicly funded university, UWB exists to serve the educational needs of the citizens of the state of Washington. In its 2008 Strategic Master Plan, the state Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) outlined two goals for providing what the people of our state want and need from their public higher education system:

HECB Goal 1: We will create a high-quality higher education system that provides expanded opportunity for more Washingtonians to complete postsecondary degrees, certificates and apprenticeships.

HECB Goal 2: We will create a higher education system that drives greater economic prosperity, innovation and opportunity.

The 21st Century Campus Initiative: UWB Priorities Plan for 2008-2020 addresses our state's need to expand access to higher education by outlining a clear and compelling vision for how we intend to grow in both size and excellence.

Developed as a partnership between faculty, staff and administration, with input from students, the Alumni Council and the UWB Advisory Board, the 21st Century Campus Initiative identifies the priorities and actions to guide us in addressing the following overall institutional goals: 

  • Build a distinctive 21st Century public institution reflecting our mission and campus priorities.
  • Grow to a combined enrollment of 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students by 2020 to serve the needs of our region.
  • Achieve distinctiveness and growth in a fiscally responsible manner.

The purpose of the 21st Century Campus Initiative is to lead us toward success in meeting these goals, by focusing our energies and resources in an intentional manner as we pursue a common vision.

UWB Mission Statement

The UW Bothell holds the student-faculty relationship to be paramount. We provide access to excellence in higher education through innovative and creative curricula, interdisciplinary teaching and research, and a dynamic community of multicultural learning.

  • Serve college-age and established adult students, as well as the community at large, by providing access to a premier institution of higher education.
  • Emphasize and develop critical thinking, writing, and information literacy, in order to graduate students with life-long learning skills.
  • Actively recruit and support outstanding faculty scholars with a passion for communication.
  • Build an inclusive and supportive community of learning and incorporate multicultural content and diverse perspectives on ethnic and racial groups, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and special needs.
  • Encourage and support collaborative, interdisciplinary, and cross-program initiatives.
  • Provide quality curricula by making use of the best of educational technology in support of teaching and learning.
  • Attract and support an internationally diverse student body and a nationally recognized faculty and staff.
  • Create and support excellence in student services, academic services such as library, writing center, computing services, and physical facilities.
  • Foster productive relationships with the employment community and promote a strong public service commitment.

From Mission to Priorities Planning

The successful development of UWB rests on the rich framework established by the founding faculty in 1990. Since that date the university has grown from 26 students to over 1800, guided throughout by the vision and accomplishments of the entire campus, its programs and units. Planning milestones include:

  • UWB Mission adopted by the General Faculty Organization (GFO) in 1996
  • UWB 5 for 5 Initiative begun in 2004
  • The Future of Washington's Branch Campuses: HECB report on branch campus development plans - HB 2707 in 2005
  • GFO Academic Planning in 2006-2007
  • Creating UW's Future: Meeting the Grand Challenges, a UW strategic plan for all three campuses in 2006-2007 (Appendix A)

Our current process began in September 2007 with a retreat to generate ideas for shaping our future growth. A Strategic Planning Blackboard site was then launched, allowing the entire UWB community to review, reflect and comment on retreat presentations, outcomes, relevant data and readings. Early in 2008, a Faculty/Staff Academic Priorities Workshop series was begun to move the process from ideas toward a concrete plan. The workshops focused on identifying broad priorities to serve the growing needs of our students and region with excellence and distinction. The 21st Century Campus Initiative builds on our mission and reflects the visions and priorities that emerged throughout our planning process.

Growth: Serve the citizens of the State of Washington by providing increased access to a premier university education.

  • Grow to a total undergraduate and graduate enrollment of 5,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students in 12 years and 6,000 in 15 to 20 years.
  • Over the next five years, increase enrollment by 1,000-1,200 FTE students.
  • Develop new majors and graduate programs in high-demand fields and foundational studies to serve student, employer and regional needs. Broad fields identified for new or continued development include:
    • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); and Health
    • Social Science
    • Visual, Literary and Performing Arts
    • Foreign Language and Culture
  • Support ongoing enrollment growth in existing program areas: Business, Computing and Software Systems, Education, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Nursing, and the Center for University Studies and Programs.
  • Understand and respond to projected demographic changes and their effects on our assumptions about demand and needs.
  • Use technology and innovative delivery modes to overcome barriers to enrollment and extend UWB's reach.

Resourcefulness: Build a culture of institutional sustainability through sound, creative use of financial and human resources.

  • Recognize and operate within the fiscal boundaries of a public university.
    • Demonstrate the value of UWB to the region.
    • Enhance the flexible use of resources.
  • Plan to build the facilities needed to accommodate future academic programs and services, with flexibility for large classes and small seminars.
  • Sustain our human resources by addressing professional development and institutional support needs among faculty and staff.
  • Expand opportunities for additional funding sources, including development, funded research and self-sustaining programs.

Diversity: Enhance campus commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

  • Enhance recruitment, support and retention for underrepresented faculty, staff and student groups.
  • Incorporate multicultural content and diverse perspectives in learning and scholarship.
  • Target services to support inclusion and success for a student population of increasing diversity in ethnicity, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, social class and disability.
    • Create a multicultural program to support students of diverse backgrounds, foster understanding and appreciation of differences, and enrich campus life.
    • Create bridge and other support programs to enhance recruitment and retention.
    • Build P-12 and community college pipeline partnerships, forging relationships and aiding student preparation for university studies.
    • Maintain commitment and support for students of all ages and students with disabilities.

Student-centered: Enhance student services to support academic success and enrich student life.

  • Provide enhanced advising and career services for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Provide comprehensive academic support services, including Library, Writing Center, Quantitative Skills Center, Media Center and additional programs.
  • Address student-life issues, including:
    • Housing, social and recreational opportunities
    • Health, mental health and childcare services

Community: Deepen and broaden community engagement and research.

  • Build the UWB community by fostering lifelong learning and alumni outreach.
  • Broaden our impact to encompass diverse local, regional, statewide and global communities.
    • Enhance research activities focused on local through global issues.
  • Promote undergraduate and graduate involvement in service- and community-based learning and research.
  • Develop productive relationships with the employment community.
  • Build on UWB's reputation by demonstrating our distinctiveness and telling our story.

Innovation: Support signature strengths in interdisciplinary scholarship and innovative teaching.

  • Encourage and support collaborative, interdisciplinary and cross-program initiatives.
  • Engage faculty and students in inquiry- and problem-based approaches to research and learning.
  • Develop reciprocal regional partnerships that enhance teaching and research.
  • Promote research on the scholarship of teaching and explore innovative teaching methodologies that foster student/faculty interactions.
  • Employ innovative technology and academic support services to enhance educational experiences.

Sustainability: Develop environmental and human sustainability as a signature initiative.

  • Gain national distinction for leadership, scholarship and teaching in sustainability issues.
  • Promote community partnerships in sustainability activities, including collaboration with Cascadia Community College and UW Seattle.
  • Build on interdisciplinary and cross-programmatic studies and research in environmental and human sustainability.
  • Value the development of sustainable and healthy human communities.
  • Promote a green campus, with the wetlands as a centerpiece, to embody sustainability and serve as a research and teaching laboratory.
  • Develop into a low-impact campus through careful materials and energy stewardship.

Moving Forward: a flexible approach for the first year

The 21st Century Campus Initiative outlines seven priorities to guide UWB over the next 12 years. They are interconnected and have grown out of our existing culture, strengths and endeavors. Thus, many activities supporting our priorities are on-going and must be nurtured and developed with the additional focus called for in our plan. This campus-wide plan is not intended to inhibit program-level planning; rather, it should serve as a guide. In creating their plans, programs and units are asked to take these priorities into account, so our efforts remain focused on achieving the vision we have developed together.

While all of our priorities are of great importance, we do not have unlimited financial and human resources to fully address them at once. In the short term, we will appoint task force groups or work with existing groups to develop recommendations in targeted areas while we continue to develop a timeline for implementing the remaining items. In Spring 2009, we will hold a follow-up workshop with faculty and staff to assess our progress, discuss potential modifications and update our steps for moving forward.

Several work groups will be asked to serve during Spring Quarter and others will be formed in the coming academic year and beyond. The proposed timing for development of new majors reflects consideration of planning activity outcomes, state and student demand, resource issues, and our ability to offer initial majors quickly to meet enrollment targets.

Each task force group, though focused on a specific area, will also address the ways in which other priorities are interrelated. Thus, a diversity task force will address this priority in depth, while the topic of diversity will be part of the conversation in all other groups as well. To foster collaboration throughout this process, task force leaders will work with the UWB 21st Century Campus Initiative Guidance Group, a partnership between the Office of Academic Affairs, the General Faculty Organization Executive Council, and General Staff Organization representatives.

Moving Forward: proposed approach

A. Finalize and adopt the 21st Century Campus Initiative.

  • Present Draft #1 at Faculty/Staff Workshop, 3/7/08.
  • Circulate Draft #2, revised to reflect workshop outcomes, later comments and recommendations by the GFO EC/GSO Guidance Group, 3/15/08.
  • Post Draft #3 for a 30-day comment period, 4/15/08.
  • Present final document to GFO EC/GSO Guidance Group for approval, 5/08.
  • Transmit document to the chancellor for approval.
  • Publish the 21st Century Campus Initiative.
  • Incorporate action plans as they are developed.

B. Address financial sustainability in creating and implementing action plans.

  •  Allocate resources to achieve enrollment growth in ways that support the distinctiveness outlined in the 21st Century Campus Initiative.

C. Expand existing research and assessment capabilities.

  • Expand the Office of Institutional Research to enhance the analysis of student and regional needs, as well as institutional performance. This information will help us remain flexible to changing environmental factors as we implement our priorities
  • Analyze data on changing demographics and plan to meet the needs of our projected student population.
  • Assess progress in meeting priorities annually.
  • Review our priorities plan annually and revise as needed based on changing data, projections and environmental factors.

D. Develop action plans based on task force recommendations.

  • Create task force groups to recommend actions and timelines, identify measures for gauging success, and consider other issues related to the central focus.
  • Maintain a flexible timeline for task force work, with the following proposed task force groups and formation dates:
    • Enrollment Growth - STEM and Health, Winter 2008
    • Institutional Enrollment Management, Spring 2008
    • Sustainability Initiative, Spring 2008
    • Enrollment Growth - Social Sciences, Fall 2008
    • Diversity, 2008-09
    • Technology and Innovation in Teaching, 2008-09
    • Student Services/Student Life, 2008-10
    • Community Engagement, 2008-10
    • Enrollment Growth - Visual, Literary and Performing Arts, 2009-10
    • Enrollment Growth - Foreign Language and Culture, 2009-11
  • Charge task force groups to consider their area of focus in relation to the overall priorities plan.
  • Support existing and emerging efforts to advance our priorities both within and outside of task force work.

E. Develop an on-going communications program supporting the 21st Century Campus Initiative.

  • Build familiarity with our priorities throughout campus.
    • Produce and distribute materials highlighting plan elements.
    • Provide updates on activities supporting our priorities.
  • Encourage on-going reflection, comment and input from faculty, staff, students, the Alumni Council and the UWB Advisory Board as we move forward.
  • Hold a follow-up workshop with faculty and staff in Spring 2009 to discuss our progress and update our steps for moving forward.

Appendix A

University of Washington Vision Statement

The University of Washington educates a diverse student body to become responsible global citizens and future leaders through a challenging learning environment informed by cutting-edge scholarship. Discovery is at the heart of our university. We discover timely solutions to the world's most complex problems and enrich people's lives throughout our community, the state of Washington, the nation, and the world.

Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Respect

Uniquely Washington

The University of Washington's vision and strategic priorities must consider the characteristics that make us great and unique, and must reflect our core values and culture.

UW Standard of Excellence: We recruit the best, most diverse and innovative faculty and staff from around the world, encouraging a vibrant intellectual community for our students. We link academic excellence to cutting edge research through scholarly exploration and intellectual rigor. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of ethics, as a beacon for our community and the world.

Academic Community: We are educators and learners. We promote access to excellence and strive to inspire through education that emphasizes the power of discovery and the foundation of critical and analytic thinking. We foster creativity, challenge the boundaries of knowledge, and cultivate independence of mind through unique interdisciplinary partnerships.

World Leaders in Research: We have grown into the most successful public research university in the nation in attracting support for our research. Ours is a proud culture of innovation, collaboration, and discovery that has transformational impact.

Celebrating Place: The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest envelops us. This is an important element of who we are, for this awe-inspiring place not only anchors us, it reaffirms our desire to effect positive change in the world around us. We accept gratefully our role in preserving and enhancing Washington:  the place, the people, our home.

Spirit of Innovation: As Washingtonians, we are profoundly optimistic about our future. Based on our past and present, we find inspiration for the future. Ours is a culture with a determined persistence that engenders innovation and a belief that our goals can be realized.

World Citizens: We are compassionate and committed to the active pursuit of global engagement and connectedness. We assume leadership roles to make the world a better place through education and research. We embrace our role to foster engaged and responsible citizenship as part of the learning experience of our students, faculty, and staff.

Being Public: As a public university, we are deeply committed to serving all our citizens. We collaborate with partners from around the world to bring knowledge and discovery home to elevate the quality of lives of Washingtonians. This guides our decision-making as well as our aspirations and vision for the future.

Creating UW's Future: Meeting the Grand Challenges

Goal 1: Attract a diverse and excellent student body and provide a rich learning experience

Goal 2: Attract and retain an outstanding and diverse faculty and staff to enhance educational quality, research strength, and prominent leadership

Goal 3: Strengthen interdisciplinary research and scholarship to tackle "grand challenge" problems that will benefit society and stimulate economic development

Goal 4: Expand the reach of the UW from our community and region across the world to enhance global competitiveness of our students and the region

Goal 5: Maintain and build infrastructure and facilities to insure the highest level of integrity, compliance and stewardship


Serve the citizens of Washington by providing increased access to a premier public education.


Build institutional sustainability through sound, creative use of financial and human resources.


Enhance campus commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.


Enhance student services to support academic success and enrich student life.


Deepen and broaden community engagement and research.


Support signature strengths in interdisciplinary scholarship and innovative thinking.


Develop environment and human sustainability.