June 6, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the College of the Environment! As of June 3, 2009, the Reorganization, Consolidation, and Elimination of Programs (RCEP) procedures have been completed for the College of Forest Resources, the School of Marine Affairs, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, and the Program on the Environment. All of these units will be moving into the College of the Environment as of July 1, 2009. The Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) has been part of the College since July 1, 2008. We hope that additional RCEPs will be initiated at the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year.

As the members of the College of the Environment (CoEnv) Vision and Governance Committee so eloquently stated in the plan for the college, we are emerging as an unparalleled hub of environmental scholarship and innovation. The CoEnv's unique strength is the combination of outstanding faculty doing basic research on the solid, liquid and gaseous components of Earth as a physical, chemical and biological system with those studying human dimensions of the environment, the application of engineering and technological solutions to environmental problems, and the impact of policy on environmental change. Few universities have this breadth and depth of expertise, and fewer have taken the step of collecting such strong and diverse academic and research units into a single institutional structure. CoEnv will be a world leader in understanding environmental function, developing collaborations to meet environmental challenges, and educating future generations of environmental scholars and leaders. The Vision and Governance Committee Report can be found on the CoEnv web page.

As inaugural members of the new college we are collectively embarking on a mission to become known regionally, nationally and internationally as the leading innovator in environmental research and learning because of the unparalleled strength and breadth of our faculty, students and staff and a shared culture of cross-disciplinary collaboration. For the UW this is a watershed moment, and great leaps forward are rarely without sacrifice and risk. Creating the College of the Environment involves some level of risk, but the potential rewards are much greater than the costs. I believe that the synergies offered by the College of the Environment will have profound and far-reaching benefits for each of the individual units in the college and will create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Over the summer and upcoming academic year we will provide periodic updates about the timelines, milestones, and opportunities for involvement in the College's administration, policy development, and recruitment of leadership positions. There are many details to sort out and many opportunities to refine how we will operate going forward.

We know that you and our many internal and external stakeholders will have important questions and will want to be involved. We have been working with the administrators of each of your units to ensure a smooth operational transition on July 1 and will continue to try to expediently resolve any issues that arise. You may also know that the advancement staff members in three existing units ---- Forest Resources, Ocean and Fishery Sciences, and the Environment --- will join forces in the coming weeks. They will continue to pursue, as seamlessly as possible, all opportunities to enhance private support for the college and all of its constituent academic units and programs. We ask for your patience and deeply appreciate your cooperation as we forge ahead.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or comments you may have at envdean@u.washington.edu or if you prefer to do so anonymously.

I look forward to working with you in the months ahead.


Dennis Hartmann, Interim Dean, College of the Environment

To Return to:Prof Bare's Page, Dean's Office, College of Forest Resources