Ana Mari Cauce says there's a joke among academics about what a university provost does: She's the one who follows behind the college president and says, "What he really means is, 'No.' "
Cauce, now the dean of the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences, will become provost for the university on Monday. As second in command, she'll run the school from day to day, making academic and budget decisions.
But even though she'll be saying "no" a lot, the Cuban-born academic thinks the university's glass is half-full — despite a 50 percent cutback in state funding and the threat of an additional 17 percent cut next year.
Trained as a clinical psychologist, Cauce, 55, sees the UW as if it were a patient going through a crisis. "When you're in periods of flux and turmoil and crisis, there's real possibility for change," she said.