Task force on Danforth Campus climate, culture begins work

A special task force has formed to examine the climate and culture between faculty mentors and graduate and professional students or postdoctoral fellows on Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth Campus, Provost Beverly Wendland announced.

Kia Caldwell, vice provost for faculty affairs and diversity, and Vijay Ramani, vice provost for graduate education and international affairs, will serve as co-chairs.

The group expects to meet regularly throughout 2023 and ultimately offer recommendations for improving the climate and culture. The task force will work closely with the School of Medicine’s Executive Faculty Task Force on Climate & Culture, which David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, established in January.

The Danforth Campus task force will look at laboratory dynamics and culture as well as faculty-graduate student interactions in other disciplines. It will analyze behaviors and practices that can lead to negative outcomes for students and fellows and identify best practices to avoid such situations.

“The task force will offer insights and recommendations to make the Danforth Campus a place where graduate and professional students and postdoctoral scholars of all backgrounds, identities and disciplinary orientations can succeed, thrive and experience a genuine sense of belonging,” Wendland said.

Learn more about the task force’s work and membership.

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