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Students React To UW President Mark Emmert's Resignation

Carolyn Beeler
04/28/2010

President Mark Emmert's announcement that he would leave the University of Washington to head the NCAA took faculty members by surprise Tuesday.

TRANSCRIPT

UW Professors: "Oh really? I didn't even hear that. First I've heard of it. Well, hopefully he'll do as good a job there as he did here."

KUOW's Carolyn Beeler talked to some equally surprised students at the Seattle campus.

John Ricaurte is a senior at the University of Washington. He says he would have liked to see Emmert step up to the challenge of leading the university through its budget woes.

Ricuarte: "He bailed when the trouble's getting tough, right? Cuz with all the budget cuts and everything, this is the worst time to actually leave a school. Cuz it's probably when we need a president most and to go to something like the NCAA is just like, not cool."

Beeler: "And how does that make you feel as a student?"

Ricuarte: "Betrayed. Can't trust the president anymore. It just feels weird cuz he's the top of the top, and to have the leader leave the school when the going's tough is sort of not inspiring."

But some see Emmert's departure from the university as a positive change. With recent budget wrangling and tuition hikes, he's lost fans among some in the university community. Matt Chism is studying architecture at the university.

Chism: "As a grad student, I think this is a good move probably for the university and hopefully he has fun in the NCAA."

Beeler: "Why do you think it's a good move for the university?"

Chism: "The last couple years, there's been a lot of budget cuts, a lot of economic strife, and making the university run is always politically difficult. And I think he, particularly, has stepped on a few toes and it's probably a good time for him to leave."

Students and faculty alike say they had no idea the president's resignation was coming. They're waiting to see who takes the helm of the university while administrators look for a replacement.

For KUOW News, I'm Carolyn Beeler.

© Copyright 2010, KUOW

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