University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark A. Richards today announced the election of Sheila Edwards Lange, President of Seattle Central College, as Chancellor of the University of Washington Tacoma. Your appointment, subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents, is scheduled to begin on September 16.
Edwards Lange has a long history in higher education and is known throughout the UW for having served as Vice President, Minority Affairs and Diversity from 2007 to 2015. At UW Tacoma, she succeeds Mark Pagano, who has served as Chancellor since 2015, and is now joining the faculty at the School of Engineering & Technology.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Edwards Lange has returned to UW in this leadership position at UW Tacoma. During her career, Dr. Edwards Lange has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. She has worked tirelessly for the experience and success of students – especially those of color – in a range of academic institutions, from community colleges to regional universities to research universities, “said Cauce.
As president of Seattle Central College, Edwards Lange directs all college activities, including teaching, student services, tax resources, staff, facilities, and community relations. She works closely and collaboratively with executives in the Seattle College District to ensure that students receive quality, responsive education and services.
“I was drawn to UW Tacoma’s urban mission, its commitment to justice, diversity and inclusion, and its outstanding academic programs. This unique combination has enabled UW Tacoma to be an active partner for economic development and prosperity in the South Sound, ”said Edwards Lange. “I am delighted to be part of this work and look forward to leading the institution at this critical time in its history.”
During her time at Seattle Central, Edwards Lange led the college’s efforts to partner with local industry, government, and organizations to meet community needs and fill the gaps in opportunity in Seattle and Washington state. Some of these initiatives include the Seattle Promise, which guarantees Seattle High School graduates two years of free tuition and full support at each Seattle Community College; and the Academy for Rising Educators, an associate of arts degree with an emphasis on education and social justice that aims to increase the percentage of colored teachers in Washington state schools.
She also led transformative projects such as The Black Male Initiative, which works to remove systemic barriers to academic success for black students; and creating a focus on equity and social justice for associate degrees.
In addition, Edwards Lange has developed and maintained extensive community networks that serve on bodies such as the Alliance for Education, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Community Development Roundtable. In 2020, she was named Washington Community College CEO of the Year by the Washington State Association of College Trustees.
Under her leadership, the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity has made great strides in its work to expand college access, support academic success, and improve diversity-based teaching and learning on campus. Among the many milestones that Edwards Lange reached at the top were naming and renovating the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, realizing a 40-year-old dream of building a longhouse-style facility on the UW campus, and saying goodbye to diversity -Course for all UW students.
Edwards Lange earned her PhDs in Educational Leadership and Political Studies, as well as her Masters in Public Administration from UW and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine. She began her career at Western Washington University before taking leadership positions at Seattle Community Colleges. During her doctorate at UW, she developed research and teaching interests in the areas of higher education policy, diversity in higher education, assessment and program evaluation as well as the underrepresented student access to STEM subjects. She taught an advanced course on race and public order at UW Evans School for several years.
UW Tacoma was founded in 1990 to expand access to students in the South Puget Sound area in ways that transform families and communities. As a city serving university, its educational programs and research are tied to the needs and aspirations of its community. With around 5,300 students enrolled, the 46-acre campus was a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Tacoma.
Day (s): Mark Pagano • Minority Affairs & Diversity Office • Engineering & Technology Faculty • Sheila Edwards Lange • UW Tacoma