Cuts Intensify Identity Crisis for Washington's Flagship Campus

Budget Cuts Intensify Identity Crisis at Washington's Flagship Campus 1

Photo composite by Stephen Brashear for The Chronicle

Clouds gather over the flagship campus of the U. of Washington. The campus, administrators say, is expected to be both "racehorse and workhorse" for the state. The state lacks the depth of public-university systems in some other states. As a result, the university preserves 4,000 freshman spots for state residents.

Washington's flagship university doesn't look like it has money problems. The picturesque campus, a blend of Gothic architecture and the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, draws more federal research dollars than any other public university in the country. And the University of Washington raised $2.7-billion in a recent campaign from its perch in this entrepreneurial city.

But cracks are appearing under the surface. The state is not paying for the many construction projects here,