A Message Regarding the Report of the Commission on Institutional History and Community

To: The W&L Community
From: President Will Dudley
Date: August 28, 2018

Last August, I appointed the Commission on Institutional History and Community and charged it with examining how the ways that we teach, discuss, and represent our history shape our community. I asked the commission to make recommendations about how we can best present our physical campus to take full advantage of its educational potential in a manner that is consistent with our core values.

The Commission completed its work and delivered its report to me in May. I shared the report with the W&L community and invited readers to submit their reactions. I promised to spend the summer reflecting upon the report and the community's responses to it, which I have done. Today, I offer my considered thoughts about the most important issues and ideas raised by the report.

The Commission offered 31 recommendations, which are interconnected and broad in scope. Some recommendations bear on issues that received careful consideration in our recently concluded strategic planning process. Others address aspects of university policy and operations for which authority rests with students, faculty, staff, or trustees. My own response outlines the approach we will take to each of the major themes into which the particular recommendations of the Commission can be categorized. The progress we make on each of these fronts will be a collective effort in the coming months and years.

I want to thank the members of the Commission on Institutional History and Community for their efforts on behalf of Washington and Lee. The conversations they initiated and the work we will do together, guided by our strategic plan, will make us an even stronger university.

Read the Complete Response