Henry S. Webber, vice president for community and government affairs at the University of Chicago, will become WUSTL’s executive vice chancellor for administration, announced Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. Webber’s appointment will be effective March 1, 2008.
“We are very fortunate to have someone with Hank’s level of experience join the senior leadership team at Washington University,” Wrighton said. “Hank has been an impressive leader for more than two decades at the University of Chicago, one of America’s premier research institutions. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our community — knowledge about managing a great university, and also knowledge about how great universities can have a positive impact in their local communities. I look forward to working with Hank in the era that lies ahead.”
Webber will be the university’s chief administrative officer and oversee facilities, campus planning, capital projects, campus security and off-campus real estate acquisition and development. Webber also will coordinate the work of his areas with those who work in community relations.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve a great university in an exciting city,” Webber said. “To get to know Washington University, as I have in the past few months, is to be very impressed. And the opportunity to work with Chancellor Wrighton is not to be missed.”
Along with the Washington University’s other executive vice chancellors — David T. Blasingame; Michael R. Cannon, J.D.; Edward S. Macias, Ph.D.; and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D. — Webber will work with Wrighton on the university’s management committee. Webber also will serve as a member of WUSTL’s University Council, a group composed of the academic leaders and managers of vital administrative areas of the university that meets to discuss significant university issues and decisions.
Webber brings significant teaching and research experience from the University of Chicago. “I am looking forward to Hank’s contributions to our academic enterprise here at Washington University,” Wrighton said.
Webber has worked at the University of Chicago for the past 21 years. During his time at the University of Chicago, he has been responsible for the university’s offices of human resources, labor relations, university police, off-campus real estate and community and government affairs, among others.
Most recently, Webber has worked as the University of Chicago’s vice president for community and government affairs. Before holding that position, he was vice president for community affairs from 1997-2001.
Since taking responsibility for the University of Chicago’s community affairs efforts, Webber’s work has improved the lives of many of those living, learning and working around the University of Chicago and in the city itself. While under his guidance, the University of Chicago’s community affairs program was recognized in a national study as among the dozen strongest university-civic programs in the United States.
One of Webber’s most notable achievements was to promote the revitalization of the North Kenwood/Oakland and Woodlawn neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side, which was accomplished by collaborating and forging relationships with the area’s community, religious, civic and political leaders.
Webber also played a leading role in the establishment of the Urban Education Initiative, a University of Chicago effort that develops charter schools, offers teacher training and supports basic and applied research on educational issues. He is the founding and current chair of the Governing Board of the University of Chicago Charter School Corporation, which operates four public lottery admission charter schools on the south side of Chicago with an enrollment of more than 1,000 students. He also is the chair of the Administrative Oversight Board of the Consortium on Chicago School Research.
His other accomplishments include supervising changes in police policies that facilitated a 40 percent reduction in crime in the University of Chicago neighborhood over an eight-year period and leading the public affairs components of a successful campaign to retain a five-year, $2.5 billion contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Argonne National Laboratory, one of the department’s largest research centers.
As a lecturer and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, Webber has taught courses on topics such as community development, health policy, strategic management and social welfare policy. His research has centered around community development, mixed-income housing, the role of anchor institutions in urban development, Medicaid policy and urban hospital financial distress.
Webber has held a number of other positions at the University of Chicago: associate vice president for administration (1994-97); assistant vice president for human resources (1989-1994); and deputy director of financial budget and planning (1986-89).
Before joining the University of Chicago, Webber worked from 1984-86 as a policy and budget analyst for the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance.
Webber graduated with honors from Brown University in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree in environmental studies. In 1984, he earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Webber and his wife, Christine K. Jacobs, M.D., have two children, Robert, 18, and Hannah, 16.