What an email dump reveals about the selection of the UW President.

Seattle Times UWSEATTLE Times: emails suggest UW regents decided on new president days before public vote

abstracted from piece by Lewis Kamb: 

SMS thumb Cezanne

The Seattle Times’ Public Records Request dump seemingly shows the regents had chosen Ana Mari at least 4 days before the public vote.   All this tells me is that there was much more going in  private discussions not recorded as email.  Free discussion is a necessity for any  University. Email is an informal medium, more a debate over a pint than than a formal record. This sort of dump suggests that we should also require body cams on all UW faculty.

A Public Records Request of emails by the Seattle Times shows the chairman of the University of Washington’s Board of Regents discussing the choice of Ana Mari Cauce as President days before the public vote last October.  Along with emails, the released records included copies of text messages and a variety of statements to notify alumni, donors, faculty and staff and the public about Cauce’s appointment that were prepared prior to the board’s vote.


The emails  describe the board’s pending action as an “announcement” rather than an uncertain outcome.

Body Cam

Body Cam ,, Next part of UW uniform

There is even a script.  Board of Regents Chairman Bill Ayer detailed which regents would make the motion and second to appoint Cauce.  “The motion carries!!” Ayer’s script noted, without providing words to the alternative. Four days before the board’s public vote — John Thornburgh, a search consultant, told Ayer “before a public announcement” was made he wanted to inform other prospective candidates “so that they don’t read about it in the media.” Ayer responded : “I assume the communication would be that we’ll be announcing a decision, but not who.”

Norm Arkans, the UW’s associate vice president for public relations denied that regents made a decision before the public vote.  “The board chairman isn’t going to call a special meeting unless he knows the board is prepared to make a decision, but the decision wasn’t made until the board took a vote on it,” Arkans said.  Arkans also said then his staff drafted a news release and made other arrangements in the eventuality that regents appointed Cauce, but such preparations did not indicate the matter had been decided.


The records also revealed the identity of another candidate: retired U.S. Army General Pete Chiarelli. The name of Chiarelli, a former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army and Seattle native, surfaced in Ayer’s response to Thornburgh’s email about notifying “prospective candidates” before the regents’ public announcement.

Chiarelli confirmed his candidacy to The Times last week, saying he met once early in the process with Ayer, and later with a search consultant in Washington, D.C. He added he received a courtesy call about a day and a half before Cauce’s appointment.

“They said the announcement was going to be made, but it wasn’t going to me,” he said.


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