Trustees meet during 150th anniversary week

Founders Week marked the beginning of the University’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration, and it included the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees Sept. 19.

The meeting featured reports by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, as well as reports by the following standing committees — audit, development, educational policy, Hilltop finance, research-graduate affairs, undergraduate life, and the Alumni Board of Governors.

In a special presentation, Wrighton spoke at length on faculty recruitment and retention — its challenges and its opportunities. He reported on the University’s success in attracting and retaining the best faculty teacher-scholars and their importance to the continuing rise of the institution’s performance and quality.

In addition, he presented a report on University activities since May.

Wrighton opened his regular report to the trustees by describing the huge success of the University’s 150th Birthday Party Sept. 14, and the large crowds of children and families who visited the University — many for the first time — to participate in more than 220 events on both the Hilltop and Medical campuses.

Wrighton then noted that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is enjoying its most successful year in the University’s history, with 1,372 freshmen arriving on the Hilltop Campus in late August. These students have come from all 50 states and from about 20 other countries.

Approximately 28 percent are multicultural or international students and are evenly divided between men and women. Wrighton noted that they are the most academically talented group of applicants in the University’s history, with average SAT scores of 1400, combined math and verbal.

He congratulated the 71 students from China in the joint Olin School of Business-Fudan University executive master of business administration program. They are completing their course of study and were honored Sept. 18 in a ceremony on the Hilltop Campus.

Wrighton also noted the U.S. News & World Report rankings have now included Washington University among the top 10 national universities in the nation — tied with Dartmouth College for ninth. WUSTL was tied for 12th last year and is now the highest-ranked national university in the Midwest.

The chancellor announced that a new Center for Materials Innovation (CMI) will be housed in Arts & Sciences under the leadership of Stuart A. Solin, Ph.D., the Charles M. Hohenberg Professor of Experimental Physics in Arts & Sciences. The associate director will be William E. Buhro, Ph.D., professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences.

The CMI will enable collaborators from across the University to make basic and applied advances in materials research, touching on many aspects of daily life, such as better consumer goods, improved vehicles and planes and new biomedical products and electronics. A gift from Board of Trustees Chairman John F. McDonnell will endow three professorships that will be filled by scholar-scientists who will work with the CMI.

Wrighton also announced a new affiliation between the University and the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID), whereby the School of Medicine is assuming ownership and responsibility for a portion of CID’s programs, including hearing research, adult clinical care and advanced-degree programs.

The CID school and its outreach center will continue as independent programs serving children and their families coping with hearing loss and the best ways to serve and educate deaf children. The programs transferring to the University will become part of the Department of Otolaryngology under the direction of Richard A. Chole, M.D., Ph.D., the Lindburg Professor and chair of the department.

David M. Holtzman, M.D., was announced as the new head of the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine, as well as being named the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor of Neurology. He is the permanent replacement for Dennis W. Choi, M.D., Ph.D., now the executive vice president of neurosciences at Merck Research Laboratories. Wrighton said Holtzman is an Alzheimer’s expert who has established himself as one of the department’s exemplary members and is held in highest regard nationally.

On updates regarding facilities and construction, Wrighton noted that the Earth and Planetary Sciences Building is scheduled for completion in summer 2004; that the dedication ceremony for Uncas A. Whitaker Hall for Biomedical Engineering will take place Oct. 20; and that the dedication of the refurbished Olin Library will take place May 7.

He also announced that the groundbreaking for construction on the new museum and School of Art building in the Sam Fox Arts Center will take place April 14.

Wrighton reported that a new residence hall on the South 40 — just south of Wohl Student Center — has just been occupied for the first time by students. It will be called University House.

He also noted that a combined-use building has opened at 276 N. Skinker Blvd., just across the street from the northeast corner of the Hilltop Campus.

The chancellor closed his remarks by congratulating the Department of Athletics on exceptional success, including the naming of Rebecca Rotello as the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Missouri in recognition of her Division III volleyball prowess. He congratulated the women’s volleyball team on their 4th-place national standing in Division III.

He also noted that a new book by authors William G. Bowen and Sarah A. Levin, Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values, cites Washington University and the University Athletic Association as model examples of institutions and athletic leagues that have their athletic programs in line with their University’s academic missions.

The trustees observed a moment of silence and accepted a resolution in memory of Emeritus Trustee Frederick L. Deming, who served for 38 years. Deming passed away at age 90 Aug. 21.

Deming had a long and successful career, rising to become president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in 1957. His counsel and expertise was recognized internationally.

He served as head of the Federal Reserve’s mission to the Republic of Honduras and as head of the U.S. Government Mission to the Republic of China in Taipei four decades ago.

The Board of Trustees adjourned for a special joint session with members of the National Councils and the International Advisory Council for Asia as part of the University’s Sesquicentennial celebration.

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