Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program seeks candidates

All college campuses strive for diversity among students, faculty and staff.

One of WUSTL’s programs aimed at promoting diversity among the faculty turned 6 years old this spring.

The Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program was instituted in 1998 as part of an effort to increase the representation of minority scholars on the Hilltop Campus. The program invites individuals to campus who have distinguished themselves as leaders or potential leaders in their fields, whether the arts, academia, business or other disciplines.

Directing the program is Gerhild Scholz Williams, Ph.D., the Barbara Schaps Thomas and David M. Thomas Professor in the Humanities, associate vice chancellor and special assistant to the chancellor for academic affairs.

“The program was begun as part of an effort to support WUSTL’s efforts at diversifying the faculty; to afford students the opportunity to meet with distinguished minority faculty from other universities and colleges; to give the distinguished faculty visitor an opportunity to meet WUSTL’s students and faculty and to recommend WUSTL to their students and faculty colleagues,” said Williams, who also chairs the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in Arts & Sciences.

During their stay, scholars participate in the intellectual life of the campus by teaching seminars, giving lectures and interacting with faculty and students, particularly undergraduates.

Williams meets with each scholar near the end of their stay to elicit comments and suggestions to continue to increase the effectiveness of the program.

Each spring, information is sent to departments and schools, encouraging them in their efforts to identify and to invite distinguished minority colleagues to campus.

Inquiries about visits, as well as names and resumes of suitable candidates, should be forwarded to Williams (Campus Box 1080; gerhildwilliams@wustl.edu) for consideration at least one semester in advance of the planned visit.

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