An Important Announcement From President Wiewel: Preparing for Lewis & Clark’s Next Chapter
Dear colleagues and friends,
I write today to let you know that next academic year will be my last as president of Lewis & Clark. Serving in this role has been a great privilege and joy–most days at least!–but I turn 72 next year, and it is time to step back after 43 years employed in higher education. I feel confident in doing so because the institution is well positioned for future success.
This is a good time for Lewis & Clark to make a change, as we have clearly turned a corner. The nation and our community have made it through the worst of the pandemic, and we can look forward to a return to normal. The Executive Council is experienced and adept at the daily management of the institution, and our current strength will be attractive to a dynamic new leader.
Our strategic plan has set us on a solid course for fiscal stability. Enrollment in all three of our schools is healthy and growing again. And our comprehensive fundraising campaign, in its initial quiet phase, has succeeded beyond expectations. With its public launch next month, on June 17, I feel confident that by the time I leave we will be within sight of the finish line.
Collectively, we have much to celebrate. In the past four years, we have continued to provide an excellent education to our students, conducted important research, and provided much needed services to individuals and organizations in Portland and beyond. And we have put in place what it will take to thrive going forward:
- Completed “Exploring for the Global Good,” the first institutional strategic plan with clear metrics for success in decades, which can continue to guide us.
- Started the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in 20 years.
- Raised close to $100 million for scholarships, faculty, facilities, and programs.
- Developed an equity and inclusion strategic plan and made progress on key initiatives, such as the Posse Program, to ensure the campus becomes ever more welcoming and safe and increasingly reflects the diversity of the nation.
- Initiated exciting new programs in entrepreneurship, health studies, and pathways with the Law School and the Graduate School of Education and Counseling and others. These initiatives have contributed this year to the largest number of first-year deposits ever in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Completed the first Campus Master Plan in 10 years, which will allow us to grow as needed, as well as plans for transportation, student housing, and student engagement.
- Refinanced institutional debt to save money and fund future capital projects, including the much-needed renovation of Templeton Student Center and student housing, both of which will get underway this coming year.
- Managed through the COVID-19 crisis, as well as recent wildfire smoke and ice storm emergencies.
Throughout my time at Lewis & Clark, I have been fortunate to have the guidance and support of an amazing Board of Trustees, chaired by Stephanie Fowler, and to work with a great team of leaders on our Executive Council. Success would not have been possible without the hard work of all faculty and staff, and the involvement of our students.
I want to give a special thanks to all our alumni and friends who continue to support the college with your time, talent, and treasure. And most of all, I thank Alice for sharing this adventure with me, and for her good counsel, support, and grace.
This coming year I will focus particularly on fundraising. After my last day as president on July 1, 2022, I will remain involved in those efforts as needed.
These have not always been easy years, and Lewis & Clark still has much hard work ahead. But I feel confident that all the elements are in place for a vibrant long-term future.
I thank you all, and I look forward to a very successful last year as we work together to achieve our goals.