Update on the Board's Work

To: The W&L Community
From: Rector Mike McAlevey '86
Date: Jan. 28, 2021
Re: Update on the Board's Work

I hope this message finds you safe and healthy as we continue to grapple with the global pandemic.

On Feb. 5-6, Washington and Lee's Board of Trustees will convene virtually for our annual winter meeting. The special committee that we formed to assist the board in considering the petitions we received seeking change at the university, including the university's name, completed its work in December. The committee solicited widespread input from all of our constituencies, gathered and analyzed data, and consulted relevant experts. The full board is now considering the information and analysis compiled by the committee to make the decisions we believe are in the best long-term interest of the university.

At the outset of this work, we committed to a thorough, thoughtful, and inclusive process, and to taking the time to get things right. We originally estimated that this might take six months or more. I'm sure that many of you were hoping for answers in the near term. However, given the volume of information to consider and the magnitude of the decisions before us, the consensus of the trustees is that we need more time.

I understand that this news will be frustrating to those who see these matters as clear and straightforward, but any decision requires the careful balancing of a number of competing considerations. We have been working on this continuously since the summer, and we will take the time that is required to thoroughly evaluate decisions that have profound implications for W&L's future. While we have not imposed a new target date for any decisions, we are moving forward as expeditiously as possible.

Until our next update, we request your patience and your continued willingness to listen to and appreciate viewpoints that are different from your own. I commend to you the special section of the forthcoming W&L alumni magazine that provides a sense of the competing views on the questions before us and the passion with which positions are held. As always, W&L's success depends on our ability to interact with each other respectfully and to trust that while our personal opinions may differ, we are united in our desire to ensure the future success of our university.