Universities solve the great problems of the world; we literally cure cancer. We also help send Rovers to Mars, train future Supreme Court justices, and create and interpret some of the great works of literature and art that define the human condition. Equally crucial is our teaching mission; through our graduates we send into the world the next generation of global citizens and leaders. Democracy will thrive and human well-being will continue to improve only through the commitments and skills of the next generation, the students we are entrusted to educate here at Washington University and young people worldwide.
One of the great challenges of our time is how to foster respect, understanding and meaningful collaboration across human difference. For universities, this is crucial to our mission. As our Chancellor Andrew D. Martin says, “diverse teams perform better than homogenous ones,” and, as an institution dedicated to problem solving and knowledge generation, we must always be fostering our very best work. Compositional diversity is not enough; we must create the conditions for our community members to engage and collaborate across differences. Special attention must be given to include those from historically subordinated communities, and those groups who continue to experience ongoing marginalization and discrimination.
Washington University welcomes difference on our campus in the form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, neurodiversity, geography, socioeconomic status, age, political views, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. We excel at welcoming and including some of these perspectives and experiences; we continue to struggle to meaningfully include and engage others. Enhancing diversity and inclusion is a core value and top strategic goal set by the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Martin and is a central part of my mandate as vice provost. In tandem with the dean for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the assistant vice chancellor for the Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I work every day to help build our momentum as a community in which everyone feels respected, engaged and invited to pursue their best work.
I hope that you will engage and join forces with us to ensure that everyone can fully contribute to Washington University’s mission of academic distinction and educating the next generation of outstanding citizens and leaders. Please tour our website and learn more about our programs and goals. I look forward to working with you to create an inspiring future for Washington University.
Adrienne D. Davis
Vice Provost | Office of Faculty Affairs and Diversity
William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law