Professor Jane Elizabeth Decker was a member of the Founding Faculty of the University of Washington Bothell, hired in 1990 as one of thirteen original faculty to create the Bothell campus. Dr. Decker held many important academic roles as the first Program Director of Liberal Studies, Professor in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences undergraduate program (formerly Liberal Studies), and in the Master of Arts in Policy Studies program. She also assumed key roles in administrative leadership, including Associate Dean for Academic Planning, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Acting Dean. She also served as Acting Director of the Nursing Program, an accomplishment that she felt underlined the truly interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the UW Bothell community. Her research interests were in public policy and in her later years she studied the effects of the European Union on Ireland’s economy and cultural heritage.
Professor Decker was devoted to students and had a particular fondness for returning students. In order to provide working students with opportunities for international educational experiences, she created UW Bothell's first study abroad option that allowed students to spend two weeks in London as part of a UW Bothell-based course. She later expanded this option to include study abroad in Ireland. As a faculty member and administrator Professor Decker was committed to providing access to a world class university to students from diverse backgrounds. She spent her professional life opening doors for students and helping them to realize their academic goals. She was a mentor and friend to many students, and always regarded her students and their achievements as her most important legacy.
Professor Decker earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon and her Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University, St. Louis. She was a founding faculty member at University of North Florida before coming to the University of Washington.