Trustees hear reports on strategic planning, admissions and debate

At its fall meeting Oct. 3, the Board of Trustees heard strategic planning presentations from the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering & Applied Science, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

In addition, reports were provided on the undergraduate admissions program and the vice presidential debate.

Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, co-presented a report on the future of the University’s medical enterprise with Trustee Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., professor emeritus at the Scripps Research Institute.

For the School of Engineering & Applied Science, Salvatore P. Sutera, Ph.D., interim dean, co-presented strategic plans with Trustee Stephen Brauer, president of Hunter Engineering Co. and vice chair and chair-elect of the Board.

In his report to the trustees, Wrighton said that the freshman class totaled more than 1,400 students from all 50 states and nearly 20 countries, with approximately one-third representing minority or international students. He indicated that this is the strongest freshman class in University history.

Wrighton also reviewed the vice presidential debate, a first for Washington University in its history of hosting debates since 1992.

Of the four debates hosted by WUSTL, this one attracted the greatest number of news media and the broadest national and international attention. Students, faculty and the entire campus community came together to volunteer their services in preparing for the debate and working with approximately 3,100 media who were credentialed by the Commission on Presidential Debates to cover this event.

The chancellor praised the dedication, skill and hard work of the many women and men from throughout the University who assisted in making this a highly successful debate.

The chancellor reported that Harry and Susan Seigle Hall was dedicated Sept. 25, with Nobel Prize winner Douglass C. North, Ph.D., the Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts & Sciences, serving as the keynote speaker for this interdisciplinary structure for both the social sciences and the School of Law.

Wrighton also expressed the excitement over the continuing construction of the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University on the medical campus — the largest structure to be erected in University history. This facility will serve as the focus of research and exploration being conducted as part of the BioMed 21 initiative.

Also noted was the construction on new South 40 residential and food service facilities, renovation of Busch Hall, completion of the Village East residence hall and the recent opening of the Danforth University Center as the focus of student and faculty engagement outside the classroom.

Wrighton and Barbara Feiner, vice chancellor for finance and chief financial officer, shared the University’s challenges in connection with the volatility in the financial markets. The University remains well positioned with respect to financial resources.

In closing, Wrighton praised the athletics program as it entered another strong year, with the football team at the time off to its best start since 2001 with a 3-0 record. Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams were ranked in the top 25, while the women’s volleyball team was ranked fourth in the nation.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams were ranked 25th in national polls, and WUSTL had been selected to host the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division III National Volleyball Championships.

The trustees also received reports from the following committees: audit, development, educational policy, medical finance, University finance and the Alumni Board of Governors.