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Dean Beverly Wendland Named Provost at Washington University

[Courtesy of Washington University]

Beverly Wendland, an accomplished biology scholar, educator, and academic leader who has served for the past five years as the James B. Knapp Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the next provost of Washington University in St. Louis. 

Wendland, a member of the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1998, will assume her new role on July 1.  

“A scientist who championed the humanities, an academic leader who advocated fiercely for access and inclusion at all levels, and a dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences who was also the consummate university citizen, Beverly has made a profound and lasting impact on the Krieger School and Johns Hopkins,” says Ronald J. Daniels, university president.  

Wendland oversees the Krieger School and its 22 academic departments within the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. During her tenure as dean, she guided the school through a successful capital campaign that raised $747 million, including a record $75 million gift to the university’s philosophy program in 2018. She also played a critical role in the establishment of both the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute as a focal point for humanities scholarship and programming at JHU, and of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, a multidisciplinary academic and public forum dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by improving and expanding civic engagement and inclusive dialogue. 

“The excitement I have about the opportunity to move to Washington University as provost is accompanied by bittersweet feelings about leaving my ‘home’ for more than 20 years,” says Wendland. “I have been fortunate to work with so many dedicated and skilled colleagues across the university, and I view my accomplishments as ‘our’ accomplishments—it truly has been a team effort. I will miss Hopkins, but I will take with me the countless friendships and memories formed over the years with wonderful students, colleagues, and alumni.” 

During her tenure as dean, Wendland has advocated for innovative approaches to teaching and liberal arts education, overseeing the Krieger School’s recent efforts to strengthen and personalize undergraduate education, including through the expansion of small seminar courses, increased use of active learning methods, and more research opportunities in all disciplines. She has also been a champion of diversity and inclusion, developing and supporting strategies to enhance hiring practices and bolster graduate student pipelines to diversify the school’s faculty and students. 

Wendland is a 1986 bioengineering graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and she earned her doctorate in neurosciences at Stanford University in 1994. She joined Hopkins after completing postdoctoral studies at UCSD. 

As a scientist, she focuses on the study of the working of cells, using simple yeast as a model to gain insight into the development and treatment of complex human disease. In 2015, she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her groundbreaking studies on the genetic, molecular, biochemical, and biophysical mechanisms underlying endocytosis. 

Wendland, a staunch advocate of interdisciplinary research, chaired the Krieger School’s Department of Biology from 2009 until she was named interim dean in July 2014, succeeding Katherine Newman. She assumed the role of dean on a permanent basis in February 2015. 

Beverly Wendland Fellowship for Excellence and Diversity in the Natural Sciences

Alumni and donors have the opportunity to join us to honor Beverly Wendland’s leadership and recognize the strides made under her tenure as dean, as well as support the development of future ranks of faculty who will also reflect the diversity of the student population.

We hope to establish a new graduate fellowship fund for Krieger School of Arts & Sciences graduate students ensuring that Dean Wendland’s legacy and commitment to research and diversity endures beyond her decades at Homewood. Gifts will help to establish an endowed fund to support graduate students in their pursuit of new knowledge as they further their careers. The fellowship will be directed annually to a student who reflects a commitment to excellence in their area of study in the natural sciences and whose presence will add diversity to the academy.