Hot off the wire: Hank Webber is moving to Wash U in St. Louis. What does this mean? Will the next guy pull the plug on the Co-Op? Will the U of C hire Lisa Prasad, who helped turn Penn's West Philly digs into the kind of place where undergrads can stop by a cereal bar before class? I wouldn't mind -- that's less Cheerios for me to store in the pantry. Expect a regime change in February.
To: Faculty and Staff
From: Robert J. Zimmer, President
Re: Hank Webber Announcement
I am writing to inform you that Hank Webber, our Vice President for Community and Government Affairs, has accepted a position as Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration at Washington University in St. Louis, effective March 1, 2008. Hank has given extraordinary service to the University of Chicago during his 21 years as an administrator and instructor, and we will be sorry to lose him. But his new position at Washington University is a wonderful opportunity, and we wish him well in this new phase of his career.
The University of Chicago has a deep and longstanding connection to the City of Chicago and to our surrounding communities on the South Side. We embrace our role as citizens of the South Side community and our role in contributing to its development. A key feature of this citizenship is a rich engagement as partners with City and South Side community leaders and organizations. These partnerships have increased significantly in number and level of engagement over the past decade, and Hank’s leadership has provided an essential component of these efforts.
Hank will remain in his position at the University until mid-February, giving us time to implement a smooth transition and to launch a search for his replacement. Filling this position is a very high priority for the University. We plan to conduct that process thoroughly and expeditiously and hope to name a successor by the time he departs.
Hank joined the University in 1986 as the deputy director of financial planning and budget and as a lecturer in the School of Social Services Administration. He has held a number of administrative positions, most recently being appointed vice president for community affairs in 1997 and adding government affairs to his responsibilities in 2001. During that time, he has represented the University with great dedication in every facet of our interactions with the community and has overseen a wide array of functions including University Police, Real Estate Operations, Court Theatre, International House, and Government Relations.
Hank and his colleagues in Community and Government Affairs have built new and stronger relationships between the University and community, religious, and civic organizations and political leaders on the South Side of Chicago, contributing to community revitalization in North Kenwood, Oakland, and Woodlawn and a new spirit of partnership between the University and our surrounding communities.
Most notably, he was instrumental in the creation of what has grown into the Urban Education Initiative. He is the founding and current chair of the Governing Board of the University of Chicago Charter Schools Corporations and chairs the Administrative Oversight Board of the Consortium on Chicago School Research. In addition, he played an essential role in the development of the Collegiate Scholars Program.
He also led the steering committee and a joint effort by the University, community, and Chicago Park District to revitalize the Midway, including the development of a permanent skating rink, new gardens, and new playing fields. He was a key part of the University team that worked to secure the current contracts to manage Argonne and Fermi national laboratories.
Hank has made these and many other administrative contributions while teaching regularly in SSA and maintaining a research program.
In his new role at Washington University, Hank will be the university’s chief administrative officer and will oversee facilities, campus planning, capital projects, campus security, and off-campus real estate acquisition and development. Please join me in wishing him well in his new endeavors.