Wendland appointed Washington University provost

Beverly Wendland

Beverly Wendland, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, has been appointed provost of Washington University in St. Louis, effective July 1, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. Wendland will succeed Marion Crain, who has served as interim provost since July 2019.

A member of the Johns Hopkins faculty in the Department of Biology since 1998, Wendland has served as dean of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences since 2015, overseeing 22 highly ranked academic departments representing the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

“I’m thrilled that Beverly Wendland has accepted our offer to become Washington University’s next provost,” Martin said. “We could not have found a better person to assume this role, and I’m extremely confident that she will provide strong, smart and dynamic leadership to our academic enterprise. She is an accomplished scholar and talented administrator, and we’re extremely fortunate to be bringing her to St. Louis.

“I’m thankful to the search committee for its diligence in identifying the best candidates in higher education to consider for this position,” Martin added. “I also want to express my appreciation to Marion Crain for stepping in as interim provost during the transition. She has very generously served the university in a multitude of ways, and we are grateful.”

Meet the new provost

The Washington University community is invited to a reception with Wendland at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Holmes Lounge. Remarks will begin at 4:15 p.m.

During her tenure as dean, Wendland led the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences through a highly successful capital campaign that raised $747 million, and was instrumental in the establishment of the SNF Agora Institute, a hub for research, teaching and practice to strengthen global democracy. She also oversaw enhanced strengthening and personalization of undergraduate education, including expansion of small seminar courses, greater use of active learning methods, increased research opportunities in all disciplines, and partnership with Johns Hopkins professional schools, as well as summer outreach programs.

Under her leadership, the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences saw an 11 percent net increase in tenure-track faculty hires and increased funded sponsored research by more than 25 percent. She has been a champion of diversity, supporting and developing strategies to enhance hiring practices and bolster graduate student pipelines in order to increase the diversity of the school’s faculty and students.

“Beverly Wendland handily met — and exceeded — all of the criteria we were hoping to find in  our next provost,” said Andrew E. Newman, chairman of the Washington University Board of Trustees. “She is an accomplished scholar, an esteemed scientist and a highly capable leader. As we look toward Washington University’s future as a great institution of higher education, this appointment represents an important step forward on our trajectory of academic distinction.”

Wendland, whose research focuses on fundamental cellular processes using yeast as a simple model system, served from 2009-2014 as chair of the Department of Biology at Johns Hopkins. The author of numerous scholarly publications, she was recognized in 2015 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her innovative work on the genetic, molecular, biochemical and biophysical mechanisms underlying the cellular process endocytosis. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation, and her many honors and awards include the Burroughs Wellcome Fund New Investigator Award in the Pharmacological Sciences and the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Award.

“A scientist who championed the humanities, an academic leader who advocated fiercely for access and inclusion at all levels, and a dean of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences who was also the consummate university citizen, Beverly has made a profound and lasting impact on the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and Johns Hopkins,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University.

“During her tenure, Beverly’s capacity for collaboration, her boundless optimism and her openness to bracing ideas have made Johns Hopkins a more diverse community, laid the groundwork for a new blueprint for undergraduate education and left the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences on a trajectory for ever-greater excellence,” he added. “Though Johns Hopkins bids farewell to a valued leader, colleague and friend, we know she will be all that for the Washington University community.  We wish Beverly all the best as she steps into her new role.”

“I am honored to be asked to serve as the next provost at Washington University,” Wendland said. “I am eager to meet and learn from the faculty, staff and students of WashU, and to collaborate with our partners and neighbors. The aspirations, ethos and momentum of the community resonate deeply with me, and I look forward to working closely with Chancellor Martin as he embarks on enhancing our academic distinction, educational access and the university’s role and impact in St. Louis and for St. Louis.”

Wendland earned her bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, and her doctoral degree in neurosciences from Stanford University. She will be joined by her spouse, Michael McCaffery, research professor in biology and director of the Integrated Imaging Center at Johns Hopkins, and their dogs, Sookie and Lucy.