Trustees meet, discuss undergraduate education, elect new board member

The Dec. 2 meeting of the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees focused on undergraduate education, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

The board also elected a new trustee. Alumnus Joseph F. Wayland, AB ‘79, executive vice president and general counsel of Chubb Limited, was elected as an Ethan A.H. Shepley Trustee for a four-year term ending in December 2020.

Mark S. Wrighton

Following the opening presentations, which included a talk by Wrighton and Provost Holden Thorp on the meeting’s theme of undergraduate education at Washington University, the trustees broke into small groups to discuss related topics. Members of the board and the administration facilitated the sessions.

In his remarks to the board, Wrighton provided updates on admissions, athletics and construction.

Admissions update

Wrighton said the Admissions Office reported a 9 percent increase in early-decision applications with this year’s Nov. 15 early-decision deadline. The admissions team will release admission decisions by mid-December. For the first time, the admission and financial aid decisions will be released electronically together.

Wrighton noted the university’s efforts to increase the pipeline of first-generation and Pell Grant-eligible students to Washington University, including Student Financial Services delivering more than 55 financial aid presentations to parents at local high schools and College Bound Opportunities.

In addition, the university hosted more than 30 St. Louis Public Schools guidance counselors on campus last month to update them on the admission and financial aid process as well as to encourage them to send their best and brightest students to Washington University.

Athletics update

Wrighton was pleased to note that all six fall athletics teams advanced to NCAA tournament play, with the volleyball and women’s cross-country teams finishing as NCAA runner-ups. The women’s soccer team, which made it to the Final Four for the second straight year, were taking on Brandeis the evening of Dec. 2.

He also noted that all four winter sports are ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division III, with the women’s basketball team off to a 5-0 start, while the men’s basketball team is 4-0. In addition, women’s swimming and diving is ranked No. 5 and men’s swimming and diving is No. 6.

Construction updates

Wrighton gave updates on construction projects on both the Danforth and Medical campuses.

On the Danforth Campus, the university celebrated the opening of the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center Oct. 28-29 with a formal dedication followed by a day of activities and fitness giveaways. Students lined up the length of Francis Field to get a first glimpse of the new recreation center.

The expansion and renovation of Olin Library continues, and the renovation of Bryan Hall is on track. Plans are moving forward to replace the bridge over Forest Park Parkway.

Construction drawings are being developed for many of the projects that make up the enhancements to the east end of the Danforth Campus, including the underground parking facility, Jubel Hall, Weil Hall, the Hub Pavilion and the Welcome Center. Design plans for McKelvey Hall are being developed, and plans for the expansion of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and landscaping for the entire area are being refined.

On the Medical Campus, the Mid Campus Center opens this month and will bring together administrative services from throughout the Medical Campus. A significant renovation of Bernard Becker Medical Library is underway, with completion expected in early 2017.

Both projects are part of a new plan to better integrate the Medical Campus. The five-year plan, called Building Campus Connections, will integrate educational services, expand clinical space and improve research and service facilities while continuing to build a cohesive, collaborative environment on the Medical Campus.

Additionally, plans are being developed to convert the old Shriners Hospital into apartment units; the 4480 building is being repurposed for Information Technology; and the School of Medicine is working with Metro to enhance and upgrade the Central West End MetroLink stop.

In his remarks to the board, Wrighton highlighted a number of recent university successes, faculty awards and recognitions, and research awards and achievements.

Wrighton also noted the recent installation of Carmon Colangelo as the inaugural Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts on Nov. 18, and the upcoming installations of Mary M. McKay as the inaugural Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School on Jan. 26; Robert Schreiber as the inaugural Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor on Feb. 2; and Phyllis I. Hanson, MD, PhD, as the Gerty T. Cori Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology on Feb. 22.

The chancellor also noted the recent death of a member of the Washington University community: Charles B. Anderson, MD, a former professor and director of the Division of General Surgery at the School of Medicine, who died Nov. 7 at age 78.

In addition, the trustees, under Chair Craig D. Schnuck, chairman emeritus of Schnuck Markets Inc., heard reports from the following committees: development, educational policy, nominating and governance, and university finance; and received written reports from the audit, global engagement, medical finance, university finance and the Alumni Board of Governors committees.

More on Joseph F. Wayland

At Chubb Limited, Wayland is responsible for the company’s global legal affairs and serves as principal counsel to the CEO, senior management team and board of directors.

Joseph Wayland

He also leads the legal organization that supports Chubb’s business operations globally and is responsible for all legal functions, including corporate affairs and securities, litigation, compliance, and regulatory and government affairs. He also serves as secretary to the Chubb Limited board of directors.

Prior positions included serving from 2010 to 2012 in the U.S. Department of Justice, first as deputy assistant attorney general responsible for litigation for the Antitrust Division, and later as the acting assistant attorney general in charge of the division.

Earlier in his career, Wayland served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Wayland holds a juris doctoris from Columbia University Law School and a bachelor of arts from Washington University. He also holds a master of laws degree in international and comparative law from Georgetown University Law School. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

At Washington University, he is a member of the National Council for Arts & Sciences, serves on the Arts & Sciences campaign committee and is a campaign volunteer for the New York region.

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