Message to the Olin School of Business

Dear Olin students and colleagues,

This has been a deeply troubling week. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis a week ago today, on Memorial Day, has stirred a great deal of pain, grief and anger among members of the Olin community, our community at large and, indeed, within myself.

I recognize the hurt this has caused and I’m keenly aware that it represents another disturbing chapter of racial injustice that includes the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, the harassment of Christian Cooper in Central Park, the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and a succession of events stretching deep into the past.

We see you and stand with you in your grief. We stand for better at WashU Olin Business School. We stand for justice, for diversity, for inclusion and for equity among all of those within our community and beyond. In fact, diversity is a core value of Olin and I believe we are taking positive steps toward living the imperative of equity and inclusion but there is more work to do. We support Olin’s recently expanded diversity and inclusion committee as it develops and implements initiatives to further foster Olin’s commitment.

We support our associate dean for diversity and inclusion, Judi McLean Parks, and our D&I program manager, Jacqueline Carter Slack, as they collaborate with me and throughout the school on this work. Today, the Olin Diversity and Inclusion Committee has committed to host a dialogue session on Thursday, June 4, at noon, for anyone who would like to share and listen. Watch for an Outlook invitation soon from Jackie.

You might also take note of an open classroom event the Brown School is hosting at 10 a.m. on June 11, “COVID-19 and Race: Political Action and Power in the Face of Adversity.”

We believe hatred, racism and discrimination of any kind has no home at Olin or anywhere. Furthermore, we know that it is not enough to simply say “no” to racism; we must be anti-racist if progress is to be made and justice allowed to take root.

We are listening, we are working, we are here.


Professor Mark P. Taylor DSc PhD
Donald Danforth, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Finance