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Dear students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Washington University,

As one of my highest priorities during my first few months, I have spent time listening to and learning from members of the community.  I am increasingly energized by the opportunities that lie ahead, including the opportunity to work with the university community to pave our path forward.

To that end, we will soon embark on a substantial and serious strategic planning process that will take some time to complete.  This is a critical time in our university’s history and trajectory as we continue to build momentum and move forward as a premier research institution.

This strategic planning process will be different than others that have come before.  I do not intend for this to be a top-down exercise, but rather a community-wide initiative.  To be successful, I need your help, your feedback, and input from the entire community.

To inform the overall planning process, we are engaging the university community in various ways: through small group conversation, formal meetings at the school and university levels, and opportunities for individualized input.

In that vein, I have created an online form where you can share your vision for the future of the university.  [The survey is now closed.] I am especially interested in hearing about the things you believe we should continue, start — and, potentially — stop doing; bold ideas that will require greater effort to achieve; and what we can do to make our community stronger in the short- and long-term.  We will use your input to hone in on opportunities for growth and ways to strengthen the university for years to come, especially as it relates to our ability to fulfill our core mission, provide an exceptional experience to our students, and make a meaningful difference in St. Louis and throughout the world.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to share your ideas and priorities with me.  As always, I’m grateful for the incredible work you do, your forethought, and your abiding commitment to our core mission here at Washington University.