Summary of the April 2021 Board of Trustees meeting

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Following is a summary from the April 2021 Board of Trustees meeting, which was held virtually last Friday, April 16. Summaries from past meetings are archived on the News from the Board website.

During the meeting introduction I gave the Trustees broad updates on the admission outlook and our plans for the search for our next vice president of finance and administration and college treasurer, as well as a report on the spring semester so far under Covid. We then moved into the Board’s agenda for the meeting:

  • The Trustees enthusiastically discussed an initial draft of the strategic plan, which draws heavily from the reports of the working groups and strategic academic initiatives. I’ll send a community email in the next week or so with a link to the revised draft. We’ll then offer opportunities for people to talk with Dukes and me about how we can translate the document’s broad strategic goals into detailed operational plans.
  • The Board also heard from student, staff and faculty representatives of the Residential Life Working Group about initiatives to support student life and learning in residential spaces. The discussion focused on two programs being developed for next year: TAPSI housing (Theme, Affinity, Program, Special Interest) and four new area coordinator positions.
  • The Board reviewed reports from all its subcommittees, including detailed reports from the committees on Sustainability, Student Experience and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Provost Dukes Love reviewed our proposed 2021-22 budget, which the Board then voted to approve.

The meeting also included standard updates and reports on important operational matters:

  • Chief Investment Officer Collette Chilton summarized the college’s investment activity and endowment performance.
  • Vice President for College Relations Megan Morey shared information about giving and participation in this fiscal year to date.
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Fred Puddester reported on the college’s finances, which are in sound overall health despite the pandemic.

Despite doing the meeting on Zoom, the Board enjoyed the meeting’s opportunities to engage with students. The members of the Board’s Executive Committee are also looking forward to their meeting with the Faculty Steering Committee later this spring.

It was exciting for us to return to strategic planning and other forward-looking initiatives after a long pandemic year. The Trustees and Senior Staff and I are deeply grateful to you all for working to get our community safely through this time. I hope that through this report you can enjoy the early signs of a hopeful spring.