BOTHELL — The Bothell campus of the University of Washington is starting to catch up with the growth that was projected when it opened in 1990 on a campus it shares with Cascadia Community College.
The UW branch has about 4,500 students. It had been projected to hit enrollment of 5,000 by 2010. Still, it has more applicants than it can accept for some high-demand programs, such as electrical engineering and computer science, The Seattle Times reported Sunday.
The suburban school promotes smaller classes than some students might find at the main campus in Seattle, a dozen miles away. It serves a population mostly on the east side of Seattle with programs through the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and with ties to local businesses.
A new $68 million math and science building is under construction and expected to open next year.
UW Bothell is one of five branch campus created by lawmakers in 1989. They also approved UW Tacoma and three branches for Washington State University in Vancouver, Spokane and the Tri-Cities.
A couple of factors that slowed growth were an agreement with the city of Bothell that limited enrollment while a Highway 522 off-ramp was completed, and the school did not accept first-year students until 2006, said UW Bothell Vice Chancellor Richard Penney:
In the early years, the school also offered few options.
“They didn’t have enough students and professors to offer a diverse program,” said Terry Sweeney, vice president of global clinical affairs at Philips Healthcare, who serves on a UW Bothell’s advisory board.
Today, the Bothell branch offers more than 30 degrees, including three that launched this year — a master’s in cybersecurity engineering and undergraduate degrees in health studies and mathematics.
“We’re bursting at the seams here,” said Bjong “Wolf” Yeigh, the new chancellor of the college, who took over from longtime chancellor Kenyon Chan this fall.
Yeigh, 48, came to UW Bothell after serving for five years as president of the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome.
He’s an active researcher who does mathematical and computer modeling. One of his recent simulations involved creating mathematical models to simulate a train derailment. Born in Korea, Yeigh grew up in Arlington, Va., and served in the U.S. Navy during the first Persian Gulf War, where he earned the nickname Wolf.
Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com