Support for Medicaid expansion in Missouri

This is the right move for our economy, especially at a time when even more people will be out of work and needing assistance. But it is also a critical step in our too-long journey toward a more just society.

Racial equity

Our path forward includes challenges that we wholeheartedly embrace. To get this right in the long run requires time for thoughtful consultation and planning. The kind of enduring transformation that is called for and necessary here will require each of us to play a vital role, and it is critically important that we do this work together – establishing a clear vision of an equitable future, identifying the specific steps we need to take, and holding ourselves accountable to our commitments.

WashU Response to COVID-19

Friends and colleagues, we are doing our best to keep the community informed of the situation. As we navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead, please know that my thoughts will continue to be with those impacted.

The challenges before us

Dear Washington University community, Racism in all forms – particularly police violence toward Black people – is a plague on our society and we must all continue to listen, engage in self-reflection, and commit to doing real work if we hope to make progress and enact meaningful, systemic change. Along with other university leaders, I […]

“Ring Their Names” Vigil

Hillman Hall

As Chancellor, I can promise you that we will do our best to ring George Floyd’s name as loudly as we possibly can to ensure the arc bends toward justice.  And we will not stop ringing until justice wins.  

On racial equity and justice

The ongoing racial violence that we are witnessing against people of color is nothing short of devastating. As a community, we are united in our commitment to justice and racial equity.

2020 McDonnell International Scholars Recognition Ceremony

Greetings from campus, and thanks for inviting me to join you as you celebrate another year as McDonnell International Scholars. I’m sorry I’m unable to attend in person, though I still wanted the chance to share my congratulations and best wishes. First, congratulations on finishing up this unprecedented spring semester with your heads held high.  […]

The values informing our path forward

These are some of the values we hold dearly at Washington University and the values that have given us the firm foundation we have in place. And right now, these values are fueling the work we do to flatten the curve, mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and do our best to care for those who are most vulnerable in the midst of this health, humanitarian, and economic crisis.

Endowment 101: socially responsible investing

I for one am proud of the immense progress we are making to invest in industries that align so closely with our mission, with a strong tendency to shy away from those that might serve to detract from it.  And moving forward, we will continue to make even greater strides to invest in businesses with positive ESG practices. Because of the nature of our partnership with WUIMC, their long-term horizon approach to investment, as well as their engagement model, we’re confident we will continue on this path. 

2020 WashU Day of Dialogue and Action

That’s what days like today and tomorrow are all about, as we use this opportunity to listen, learn, and reflect on our past as we use our collective voices to make way for the future. This is not only paramount for us as a community that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, but also as we double down on our role, impact, and connection “In St. Louis and For St. Louis.”

Endowment 101: The makeup and management of WashU’s endowment

Brookings Hall

In summary, WUIMC is a separate entity accountable to its own board, but working in tandem with the university.  Therefore, it has its own oversight and a lot of autonomy, but also a lot of rigidity in terms of the way it functions and allocates assets.  Because its main purpose is to support the university’s mission in perpetuity, WUIMC’s investment decisions tend to align closely with our university’s most deeply held values.

A message regarding novel coronavirus

WashU Danforth Campus looking north toward Brookings Hall

During this time, I urge each member of our community to see one another’s humanity and to extend compassion and empathy to those most impacted.  Our institutional strength lies in our diversity and the essential qualities of affirmation, equity, and inclusion — and it is especially important during times like these that we embody and model these values.  

Endowment 101: What is it and how does it work at WashU?

Hillman Hall

Through this first blog post in a three-part series, I hope this gives you a bit clearer picture into what an endowment is and how we use it at Washington University.  In two more future installments, I plan to outline the history of the endowment, where it comes from, how the payout is spent, how the endowment is managed, and how our investments align positively with the university’s mission — including a deeper dive into our socially responsible investment principles.  Stay tuned!

2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

Three students singing

This is the kind of place I aspire for us to be — not because it’s good for appearances or it’s good for politics. But simply because it’s the right thing to do. Once again, as Dr. King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Safety and security updates

As we begin the spring semester and settle back into our regular routines, I want to take the opportunity to share with you some important updates about our ongoing commitment to improving safety and security around our campuses.

2019 December Recognition

Undoubtedly, your time here was worth far more than any Google search could ever provide — a tangible response to the popular search “Why is education important?” While studying at Washington University, you gained knowledge, understanding, tools, experiences, and relationships that have immense promise to change the world. And now that this particular chapter is ending, it is our greatest hope that you leave this place feeling ready and prepared to continue your passionate and noble search for knowledge and truth.

A semester of momentum

I wish you the very best as you wrap up the weeks ahead.  While this semester showed no signs of stopping, it will soon be time for us to take a brief respite so we can recharge and return with even greater energy and force.  I hope you enjoy a restful holiday, and may you come back ready to help us move even further along our path.

Leading with gratitude

Students in WashU apparel walk outdoors in the fall

This week especially, I want to touch on that last part: Gratitude.  I believe gratitude is something we don’t give out enough in our current social context.  To me, it’s an important starting point as we think about shifting our own personal experiences and the experiences of our communities and society writ-large.  That said, I can think of several things for which I’m particularly grateful this year. One of the biggest ones being you — our Washington University community. 

The case for Medicaid expansion in Missouri

Missouri is facing a health-care crisis. Far too many residents in our state cannot get needed medical care because they lack health insurance. This is why Washington University is backing the Healthcare for Missouri initiative – an effort to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover more Missourians.

What’s next? An update on strategic planning

As almost a month has passed since inauguration, I believe now is the time to share the next steps for our path forward together.  Those next steps involve a bold and transformative strategic planning process that will take place over the course of the next two calendar years. 

Momentous reflections on inauguration

Andrew D. Martin walking through the Brookings Quad with Stephanie and Olive Martin

Ultimately, what I really want to say is that you’ve all been incredibly integral in my success, the success of this day, and the success of the university in your own special way, and words cannot even begin to express my and my family’s gratitude. Thank you again, and now it’s time to increase our #WashUMomentum and “to build even more bridges!”

Addressing gun violence: We must raise a collective voice

Today, we are issuing a public appeal to our state legislators to make sensible changes to Missouri state law that will grant to local governments the ability to establish stricter gun safety requirements within their municipal and county boundaries.

Inaugural Address: Momentum

WashU Danforth Campus looking north toward Brookings Hall

I view my role as your 15th Chancellor to increase our momentum and help build the bridges to our shared future — the future of this institution, the future of St. Louis, the future of this country, and the future of the world.

Increasing access to a WashU education

Over the coming months and years, I plan to continue championing these efforts.  It’s going to take time. It’s going to take financial resources. It’s going to take careful attention to everything we do inside and outside of the classroom.  And it’s going to take a commitment from all of us.  But over time, I hope this institution will become a place that has completely removed the financial barriers that too often prevent individuals from considering WashU — a place where anyone can make their dreams of a WashU education a reality.

Francis Olympic Field Renaming Ceremony

Here at Washington University, we are immensely proud that we have continued to carry the Olympic torch throughout our history to the present moment.  The renaming of Francis Olympic Field truly solidifies our commitment to these values, and I’m confident we’ll continue to embody the Olympic movement and spirit with us well into the future.

Following up on steps to enhance safety and security

Earlier this week, I expressed my determination to address safety concerns that have intensified following a recent spike in criminal activity in neighborhoods near the Danforth Campus. I now am reaching out to share with you specific steps we are taking in the short-, mid-, and longer-term.

The safety of our community

I wanted to reach out to let you know that I am concerned and determined to take action. Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our university community.

Pre-strategic planning: Sharing what we learned

As your 15th Chancellor, I am deeply committed to leading with transparency, approachability, accountability, and data-driven decision making.  To that end, I am sharing the entire report, in its full, unadulterated form. I feel this is important for several reasons. First, to walk-the-talk and be fully transparent.  Second, to allow all of us to learn through this process. And, finally, to respect the input so many of you provided and empower continued dialogue. It is very important to me that each of you feels – and knows – that you have a seat at the table.

Division of Students Affairs to report to the Office of the Chancellor

The student experience is a paramount facet of that mission as well as an area that continues to evolve with the changing landscape of higher education. To that end, and effective immediately, Dr. Lori White, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, will report directly to me moving forward. 

2019 Convocation

Brookings Hall

You now join a long line of individuals who have come before you and who have been deeply committed to the same values and principles.  As both Chancellor of Washington University and as an alumnus, I am both proud and honored that you represent our robust legacy and the extraordinary history of some of the world’s greatest thinkers, educators, inventors, innovators, advocates, and leaders.  With this comes great responsibility as you carry on the nearly 170-year legacy of distinction. 

WashU as a place of distinction

Hillman Hall

Indeed, distinction is clearly a term that embodies our past and permeates our present. And now, as we embark on yet another academic year—one filled with opportunity and potential—I challenge all of us to thread the needle even further as we embed distinction into the fabric of our future.

What it means to be “In St. Louis”

Runner statue with the old courthouse and Arch behind it

As WashU’s Chancellor, this will be one of my biggest priorities — to continue to fulfill our mission to improve lives through our excellent teaching, research, service, and patient care. This especially means being good neighbors as we exemplify the “in St. Louis” part of our name and our identity.

Reaffirming the intrinsic value of our international community

In light of these and other tensions as well as political rhetoric and pressure from various angles, it’s both appropriate and critically important to remember who we are and aspire to be as a Washington University community — a place where all people feel, represented, welcome, and included.  Our international students, faculty, and staff are no exception. Let me be clear: students, faculty, and staff from around the globe are welcome at Washington University with open arms.  And during times like these, it’s especially imperative we remind them that they are valued and celebrated as members of our thriving community.

Next steps in provost transition

Finding the ideal person to assume the role of provost will require thoughtful consideration, a smart and thorough process, and input from a broad range of community members. We are now ready to begin this task, and I want to share with you my plans for moving forward.

Commentary on Missouri law on abortion services

The university continues to share serious concerns about the recently enacted Missouri law related to abortion services. Dean Perlmutter of our medical school further explains those concerns in a commentary he coauthored with Richard Liekweg, CEO and president of BCJ HealthCare, that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

My thoughts on leadership

As I have now officially begun my role as Washington University’s 15th Chancellor, I’d really like the chance to tell you exactly the kind of leader I aspire to be.

2019 Staff Day

As soon-to-be Chancellor, I want to emphasize how important I believe it is that staff get the recognition you deserve for the enormous time and diligent energy you put into keeping this place running and moving forward.  All of you are incredibly integral to the success of the university, and I’m really grateful for your contributions.

2019 Commencement

Members of the Class of 2019, I have to be honest. I feel a little bit like Paul McCartney right now as I channel one of the Beatles’ most famous lines, “You say Goodbye, and I say Hello.” For some of you, that joke might have gotten lost in the generational gap.  But it’s true. You’re leaving this place, and I’m just beginning my role as your 15th Chancellor.  Because I wasn’t here for most of your time on campus, I haven’t earned the privilege to impart a lot of wisdom.  To that end, all I really want to say is: “Congratulations!”  

2019 Day of Discovery, Dialogue, and Action

Change requires acts of bravery — from all sides.  And friendship and dialogue are perhaps the most powerful tools we can use to enact the change we wish to see.

Trilogy “Blacks in America 400+ years”

At WashU, we aim to make hope more visible.  At WashU, we aim to hear the voice of struggle and resilience in order to achieve progress.  At WashU, we aim to enhance our institutional efforts to make Washington University a place where all people feel represented, safe, valued, and included members of our community.  And at WashU, we aim to act responsibly as we care for our students, faculty, staff, and patients here in St. Louis and throughout the world.

The 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration

All of us, regardless of background or experience, benefit from being part of a diverse and inclusive community. It’s not just about succeeding or benefitting, though. Beyond that, it’s also about thriving and flourishing. As human beings, when we work on our own selves and strive to communicate and collaborate across our differences, we begin to create a university, local community, nation, and world that truly flourishes.

A welcome message from the Chancellor-elect

I am delighted and honored to return to campus to serve as your 15th Chancellor. Washington University in St. Louis is a vibrant institution filled with tradition; rich with diversity; committed to innovation, progress, and inclusion; and marked by leaders who have paved a course for a thriving future.

Welcome remarks

It’s so great to be back home. The past four years for me and my family in Ann Arbor have been a fantastic experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve another great institution. But, there is no place like here — and no place like home.