Shantay Bolton, vice president and deputy chief operating officer at Tulane University, has been appointed executive vice chancellor for administration and chief administrative officer at Washington University in St. Louis, effective July 1, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. Bolton will succeed Henry S. Webber, who will formally transition to the newly created position of executive vice chancellor for civic affairs and strategic planning when Bolton assumes her new role.
A St. Louis native, Bolton has nearly two decades of experience in the areas of transformational organizational development, disruptive human resources and operational change management, complemented by savvy business acumen. She has been in her current role for the past year, after previously serving as Tulane’s first vice president for human resources and institutional equity, where she successfully led the merging of two departments to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community to better support faculty, staff and student workplace experience. In her current role, Bolton is directly responsible for enterprise risk management, emergency management, institutional equity and human resources. She also leads Tulane’s COVID-19 return-to-work plan, oversees daily university operations, establishes policies that promote an inclusive culture, and champions diversity through leadership development.
“We are delighted to have recruited a talented leader like Shantay Bolton to this critical role at Washington University,” Martin said. “She brings to the position a wealth of experience in some of the most important aspects of university operations. In addition, she is a smart and talented leader who knows how to develop and motivate teams. We could not be more pleased to be welcoming her back to St. Louis.”
“I’m grateful to the search committee for its outstanding work in identifying a stellar group of candidates, and leading us to Shantay Bolton as our new executive vice chancellor,” Martin added. “I also want to express my appreciation to Hank Webber for his leadership and contributions to the university, especially as he has done double duty during the past several months while we conducted the search for a successor to his former role. We thank Hank for his service to the university.”
Bolton’s primary academic and professional expertise is focused on the impact of social change strategies in organizations that improve recruitment, retention and the advancement of multigenerational leaders. In shepherding the work to connect theory to practical application, she launched a Leadership Development Institute at Tulane focused on institutionalizing leadership readiness and higher education business acumen with a goal of diversifying the management of the university. She is the creator of E3©: Engage, Educate, Empower – an Action Learning Model for Employee Engagement and Coaching, which she has used to build teams in government, corporate, higher education and nonprofit organizations. Her professional experience also includes positions at BASF; National Guard Health Affairs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Tuskegee University; and Huntsville, Ala.-based TMR Consultants LLC.
For her impactful work in global human resources and organizational development, Bolton was recognized in 2019 by the New Orleans newsweekly Gambit in its “40 Under 40” list of “overachievers and do-gooders” who stand out in the community. She was elected to a second term as vice president for administration and membership for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE); serves on the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologist Anti-Racism Grant Subcommittee; and was appointed by New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell to the New Orleans Workforce Development Board. She is a 2011 graduate and faculty member of the AABHE Leadership Mentoring Institute, an organization focused on preparing underrepresented professionals for senior administrative leadership roles in higher education.
“Shantay Bolton is the right person to assume this role at this moment in time for Washington University,” said Andrew E. Newman, chairman of the Washington University Board of Trustees. “She is a highly qualified and dynamic leader who is well equipped to take the university to new heights in some of our most critically important operational areas. We are proud that she has chosen to join us, and we look forward to her return to St. Louis.”
In her new role, Bolton will spearhead effective continuous improvement strategies in human resources, information technology and Danforth Campus operations and facilities. She will serve on Chancellor Martin’s executive cabinet, working alongside the other executive vice chancellors and vice chancellors.
“WashU’s transformative strategy has never been more compelling, and Chancellor Martin has inspired the hearts and minds of not only university community members, but also the greater St. Louis region,” Bolton said. “I am incredibly energized to be returning to St. Louis to assume this role and help lead the administrative operations to their next phase of innovation infused with operational excellence. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do the work I love in a place that means so much to me. This is a time of transformative change for WashU and for the St. Louis region, and I cannot wait to embark upon the important journey that lies ahead.”
A valedictorian graduate of Vashon High School, Bolton grew up in St. Louis and left after high school to attend Alabama A&M University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in counseling psychology. She went on to earn her doctorate in organizational psychology with a concentration in industrial psychology from Walden University and a master of business administration degree in corporate business from Florida International University. As a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., she looks forward to actively promoting community and social change in the St. Louis region.