Greetings, friends of Washington University!
An essential aspect of a leader’s work is to anticipate the challenges and opportunities of the future. While COVID-19 and all its variants have certainly humbled me in this regard, I’m proud to share that despite the challenges of the pandemic, we’ve remained laser-focused on an important project: our university strategic planning.
After 18 months of dedicated work by a large and diverse group of contributors, we are poised to launch our strategic plan in May, putting into action our vision for Washington University’s next decade of impact. Our plan emphasizes conducting research with a major focus on pressing global needs, enhancing leadership capabilities and personal development for all members of our community, and building and maintaining strong bonds with the city of St. Louis.
When Provost Beverly Wendland and her team began this process, their first step was to convene a group of distinguished faculty to establish the guiding principles that would serve as a foundation for the progress ahead. Together they determined that every aspect of the strategic plan must serve inclusion, diversity, equity and access; a global perspective; stewardship of the resources entrusted to our care; community impact; and academic distinction.
Next, we assembled members of the community into working groups that would examine nine areas of focus that will drive our next era of distinction and service, encompassing all aspects of Washington University: our education mission as well as our patient care, research, workplace and citizenship missions. The working groups were overseen by a coordinating committee that developed implementation and accountability standards.
Finally, after many hours of deep discussion and difficult decisions, the steering committee synthesized each working group’s findings and recommendations into the strategic plan that we’ll launch with great excitement in May.
“This work didn’t happen behind the closed doors of a boardroom; rather, it was a community-driven process. We heard from a total of 2,000 stakeholders, including 800 students, 600 alumni and 33 employers, and each voice was invaluable to understanding our strengths, opportunities and challenges.”— Chancellor Andrew D. Martin
I am continually in awe of how deeply our worldwide WashU community cares about this beloved institution, and the strategic planning process has confirmed what I already knew to be true: The future of Washington University is bright, and there is abundant opportunity to shine that light outward to improve lives around the world.
I can’t wait to share more soon, and I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to pursue our university motto, “strength through truth,” alongside each member of this community.