Yesterday, I had the privilege of participating in the installation of Laurie Maffly-Kipp as the Archer Alexander professor.  Laurie and I have worked together for many years, as we were both at UNC before coming to Wash U. I got to read the story of Archer Alexander, which is truly inspirational.  Here’s the story: Remarks […]

Yesterday, I had the honor of being installed as the Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor.  Dr. Levi-Montalcini was an inspirational figure to say the least.  Below is the text of my address. Thanks to everyone who has welcomed us to Washington University.  It is an honor to be your provost. Back to the Future:  Accomplishment and […]

We had a blast at convocation.  Damari Crosswell brought the house down with his impression of Yoda saying, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”  Emma Tyler ushered in a great year as SU President.  Mike and Tana Powell spoke passionately to the parents. Lee Epstein gave the faculty talk.  It was a perfect […]

We’ve had an emotional few weeks in St. Louis.  The joy and promise of move-in alongside the tragedy and pain of Michael Brown’s death and the events in Ferguson. Really proud to work with the team that has helped shaped Wash U’s response.  Associate Provost Dedric Carter has been doing a lot of heavy lifting, but […]

Here’s the letter that went inside the copies of Covering that we sent to first-year students and session leaders: On behalf of the University’s Faculty and the 2014 First Year Reading Program, we welcome you to Washington University!  We’re very excited that you will soon be joining us, and we are busy preparing for your […]

Last week, we released the report of a study that I chaired for the National Resource Council on laboratory safety in chemical research. As the Vice Chair and I discuss in the preface, we took an unusual approach to this problem by combining experienced chemical researchers with experts on safety culture from other industries.  The thing that […]

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Ethical Society of St. Louis.  They allowed me to talk about college access and college costs, certainly something of wide interest today.  I had just seen the film “Ivory Tower,” which is critical of higher education in many ways and has produced a […]


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