Trending: NASA says much-anticipated meteor outburst could be a bust for the West Coast
University Washington president Michael Young says he has “a lot of faith” in new head football coach Chris Petersen. Photo courtesy of UW.
Photo courtesy of UW.

Updated with confirmation and official announcement.

After a more than three years at the helm of the University of Washington, Michael Young is on the way out.

The UW confirmed this afternoon that Young will become the president of Texas A&M University, following reports by KIRO 7 and the Texas Tribune.

Young took office at the UW in July 2011, and was named a GeekWire Newsmaker of the Year in 2012. The 65-year-old made commercialization of startup ideas a priority at the UW after arriving from the University of Utah, where Young spurred a massive overhaul of the tech transfer department in Salt Lake City.

Inside the UW's new Startup Hall.
Inside the UW’s new Startup Hall.

In Seattle, Young continued that research-to-market focus at the nation’s leading research institution and pledged to double the amount of startups coming out of the university over a three-year period. He certainly accomplished that goal, as the school announced last year that it helped launch 18 startups in fiscal 2013, breaking a previous record of 17 set in 2012.

Over the past few years, Young and many others — Linden Rhoads, Connie Bourassa-Shaw, Vikram Jandhyala, to name a few — have helped the UW overhaul the process of bringing its technologies into the marketplace. While Young was president, the UW created Fluke Hall, a New Ventures Facility at the UW Center for Commercialization. The university also last year opened Startup Hall, a new 20,000 square-foot entrepreneurial hub that’s quickly turned into a stair step of innovation support.

Young was making $854,000 a year after receiving a 6-percent raise in October. Before Young took office, Phyllis Wise was interim president for one year after Mark Emmert left to become president of the NCAA. Emmert was the UW president from 2004 to 2010.

Update: Here’s the UW news release announcing the move.

UW President Michael K. Young named sole finalist for president at Texas A&M University
University of Washington President Michael K. Young on Tuesday was named as the sole finalist for president of Texas A&M University by its Board of Regents. Young became President of the UW in July 2011. Young is expected to assume his duties at Texas A&M in the spring.
Statement from UW President Michael K. Young
“Deciding to be a candidate for the presidency of Texas A&M University was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I was not looking to leave the University of Washington, but the allure of the recruitment process led to conversations in which the opportunity to bring new leadership and fresh ideas to another outstanding university presented itself with some force.
“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. There are many exciting initiatives in motion and much to look forward to.  I believe my successor will have ample opportunity to build on what the outstanding leadership, faculty, staff, and students at the University have underway — and of course develop new initiatives of his or her own.
“The UW has many wonderful friends and supporters, both here in the northwest and around the globe. I am grateful to all of them for the support they have shown me and Marti and for their undying loyalty to the institution. I am also grateful to my many colleagues on the faculty and staff, and to our exceptional students.  They have made my job relatively easy — they have achieved the many accomplishments of the university and deserve full credit. I will miss them all enormously.”
Statement from Bill Ayer, chair of the UW Board of Regents
“The news about UW President Michael Young and Texas A&M University has come as a surprise to the Board of Regents. We are saddened and disappointed at the prospect of President Young departing from the UW, but we certainly wish him and Marti well. He has accomplished a great deal at the University, including a number of bold initiatives whose fruition will come after he is gone. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank him for his leadership.
“The Board will be convening soon to discuss succession of the presidency — on an interim basis at first and then plans for conducting a search for the next University president. We will be making announcements as decisions are reached.
“The University is thriving. We have a record number of applicants, we are the world leader among public universities for research funding, and our friends and alumni continue to show their generosity to the University in sheer record numbers. The Regents believe this remains one of the very best places in higher education to attract outstanding leadership, and we will go about the search with energy and great enthusiasm.
“In the meantime, we ask the University community to join us in expressing our appreciation to Mike and Marti Young and wishing them the very best in Texas.”


Related: How the University of Washington plans to become a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.