As proposals to merge St. Louis County and St. Louis City gather attention, Washington University in St. Louis is creating a faculty group to initiate thinking and dialogue over the issue.
Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced the move in response to the Better Together initiative, a project by the non-profit Missouri Council for a Better Economy, which seeks to create a new Metro City.
Proposals for the new city call for a unified approach to economic development, public safety, efficient use of public exchequer and equitable access and delivery of government services to everyone.
Without taking a direct stand on the merger proposal, Washington University faculty, led by Provost Holden Thorp, will study it from various perspectives and insert their findings into the regional conversation.
“One of the key roles of a university is to engage in scholarly conversations about matters of community significance,” Thorp said.
“The Better Together proposal is a perfect example of how Washington University can play a meaningful convening role. With our exceptional faculty expertise, we aim to serve as a neutral entity to host a conversation about the future of the region.”
The group is currently formulating a plan for its work and will soon provide expertise in various areas relevant to the proposal including education, health care, and racial and economic equity.