The University of Washington (UW), commonly referred to as Washington or informally UDub, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, UW is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast and features one of the most highly regarded medical schools in the world. UW has been labeled one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League. The university has three campuses: the primary and largest in the University District of Seattle and two others in Tacoma and Bothell. Its operating expenses and research budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is expected to be $6.4 billion. The UW occupies over 500 buildings, with over 20 million gross square footage of space, including the University of Washington Plaza, consisting of the UW Tower and conference center. Washington is an elected member of the Association of American Universities, and its research budget is among the highest in the United States. In athletics, the university competes in the NCAA Division I Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12).