Mark A. Emmert, Ph.D., (born December 16, 1952) became the 30th president of the University of Washington, his alma mater, in June 2004, becoming the first alumnus in 48 years to lead the UW. During President Emmert's tenure, the UW has made a number of advancements.
In 2006, the UW established the Husky Promise, a guarantee that tuition and fees will be covered for lower-income students from Washington state who are accepted to the UW. The UW also has increased access for Washington students by expanding UW Bothell and UW Tacoma to four-year programs in the fall of 2006. The UW is now looking to add a fourth campus north of Seattle to better serve the residents of North Puget Sound. The UW Seattle campus is expanding with the purchase of the Safeco property in the University District, adding about of building space.
Under Emmert's leadership, the UW received more than $1 billion in grant and contract research funding for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2007. This marked the first time the UW received more than $1 billion in funding for sponsored research in a single year. The UW has been the top public university in federal research funding since 1974 and among the top five universities, public and private, in federal funding since 1969. In recent years, it has been second only to The Johns Hopkins University.
The university also has made many strides in global health while Emmert has been president. In 2006, it created the Department of Global Health and in the spring of 2007, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluationwas launched.
In August 2007, Emmert announced that the UW would open an office in Beijing to lay the groundwork for expanding the university's presence in China (see article) Emmert made the announcement during a campus visit by Zhou Wenzhong, ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States.
In January 2007, the fundraising goal for Campaign UW: Creating Futures was increased to $2.5 billion after the campaign reached its initial $2 billion goal 17 months ahead of schedule (see article) When the campaign ended on June 30, 2008, the total raised was more than $2.6 billion The UW has received a number of transformational gifts during Emmert's presidency, including a gift in fall of 2007 from the Foster Family Foundation leading to the business school at the Seattle campus being named the Michael G. Foster School of Business
In February 2008, Emmert turned down an offer from Vanderbilt University that possibly would've made him the most highly paid college leader in the nation. Emmert has been one of the most highly sought after college leaders in the United States having been courted by the University of Wisconsin, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Cornell University, the University of California System, and the Louisiana State University System over the past several years.
Before Emmert became president of the University of Washington, he was chancellor at Louisiana State University and held faculty and administration positions at the University of Connecticut, Montana State University, and University of Colorado.