By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
Is the real Michael Young as dynamic as the mainstream news stories say?
Recently, I attended a reception for Young, the new president of the University of Washington. The mainstream press have given him a lot of good coverage.
“He’s no rock star,” someone said.
On diversity, Young told the audience that he relied on the help of the alumni. This didn’t sound very inspiring to many UW supporters.
“Diversity needs to be implemented at the top,” said one longtime Husky. “The president is the leader. He should be in charge. If it doesn’t come from the top. No one cares.”
Just based on this meeting, I noticed that Young is not charismatic like Emmert. Young, a lawyer by training, is cautious in his words and in dealing with people. His speech was too scripted.
His predecessor rarely stuck to his script. Yet, Emmert’s words were always relevant to his audience, and his speeches were spontaneous, funny, and moving.
When comes to diversity proposal, Emmert said to me, “That’s a possibility.” Another time, he said, “How come we have not thought of this before?”
However, it’s still too early to tell whether Young is keen on diversity. We’ll wait and see. ♦