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UW President Michael Young leaving to head Texas A&M

SEATTLE –The president of the University of Washington will be the next president of Texas A&M University, the chancellor of the Texas A&M system announced Tuesday.

The university’s board of regents voted unanimously to offer Michael K. Young, 65, the job, although Texas law requires another vote in 21 days to confirm that choice.

“That’s a formality in Texas law. Michael Young is going to be the next president of Texas A&M in 21 days,” said Chancellor John Sharp, who said he first approached Young in November about the job in College Station, Texas.

The Texas university is still negotiating with Young over his salary and start date, but Young has already accepted the job, Sharp said.

The University of Washington Board of Regents chose Young in April 2011 as the man to replace Mark Emmert, who left the Seattle campus after about six years to take a job as president of the NCAA.

At a news conference shortly after he arrived in Seattle, Young called the presidency of the University of Washington “the most exciting challenge in higher education.”

He has helped UW improve its efforts to make money by spinning off companies, something he also was known for at the University of Utah.

During his tenure, the University of Washington has balanced its budget, in part, by accepting a larger proportion of its students from overseas.

Young said he had not been looking to leave Seattle, but the allure of the recruitment process at Texas A&M was too strong.

“My time at the University of Washington without question has been the most rewarding of my professional career to date. The university is one of America’s great universities and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished here,” Young said in a statement.

Among the unfinished issues is expanded physician training in Spokane, where UW has pledged to expand the number of medical students and WSU has proposed establishing its own medical school.

Texas A&M is the largest university in Texas, with an enrollment of more than 62,000 students in College Station and about that many again at its other campuses. Like the University of Washington, Texas A&M is the state’s premier research university. It has been searching for a new president since July 2013.

If Young leaves UW this year, he will lose out on deferred compensation of nearly $1 million, which his contract promised if he stays in the job until June 2016.

About his expected salary in Texas, Sharp said he would be well compensated, but not as well as the football coach. He also is not as well paid as the UW football coach.

Young previously worked as president of the University of Utah for seven years. Young studied law at Harvard University and served as a law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist at the U.S. Supreme Court. He taught law at Columbia University and focused his research on international law and human rights.


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