Providing an unparalleled student experience is among the very highest priorities at Washington University in St. Louis. In affirmation of that commitment, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin has announced the organizational realignment of the Division of Student Affairs to report to his office, effective immediately. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori S. White, who had previously served under the provost, will now report directly to Martin.
The change is a direct result of Martin’s review of promising practices and a vision for prioritizing the student experience. He cited the evolving landscape of higher education — particularly the extensive role the student experience plays across the board — as one factor that went into the decision.
“While the student experience is certainly an important piece of the academic experience, it is also critical to remember that our students’ needs, well-being, community engagement and leadership preparation during their time here are often much more transcendent, holistic and complex,” Martin wrote in a statement about the transition.
“As we continue to prioritize the myriad aspects of the student experience, it will be essential for Dr. White and the Division of Student Affairs to have a strong relationship with me and, more broadly, the Office of the Chancellor. It will reinforce the role of the vice chancellor for student affairs as the primary point person for student well-being, issues and concerns, and also allow us to renew our focus of the provost’s office to be solely academic in nature. I expect the offices of the provost and vice chancellor for student affairs to continue their important partnership in support of Washington University’s world-class educational mission.”
“It’s wonderful to see Chancellor Martin placing such high value on the student experience as we consider our most important strategic priorities moving forward under his leadership,” White said. “This realignment will allow us to take a fresh look at the ways we educate, prepare and support our students, tapping even more closely into university-level thinking, planning and resources as we chart a course for future success in student affairs. In addition to our unwavering, ongoing commitment to academic excellence, I’m heartened to know our students also are benefiting from the full support of the university in all other areas, at the very highest levels.”
“This marks an exciting step for both the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of the Provost, as we double down on our commitment to providing a top-notch, holistic education, and as we streamline our organizational models to better align with our institutional mission and strategic priorities,” Martin wrote. “I’m extremely grateful for Lori White’s leadership, and I look forward to our future collaboration. She has been, and will continue to be, an invaluable partner to all of us at the university as we continue to make the student experience an exceptional one.”