Board of Trustees Meeting Update - February 2012


St. Lawrence Colleagues:

As is our custom for prompt communication, I write on behalf of the St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees to review discussions and actions taken at the winter meeting this weekend.  I hope you can attend a conversation session on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at 4 p.m. in Sykes Common Room, so I can review this information and answer your questions.  

The Board voted to establish our base comprehensive fee for 2012-2013 at $55,835, an increase of $2,095. This is a 3.9% difference for University tuition, room, and board.  Tuition will rise $1,655, room and board will rise $430.  The Board strives to hold our cost increases as low as possible, to balance families’ obligations with our own annual operating needs. We continue to work extremely hard to contain costs, conserve energy, and develop innovations that uphold our mission, excellent reputation, and values. You help us immeasurably in this work and the trustees and I are grateful.

The new Faculty Salary Policy received unanimous endorsement of the Board as well.  All of us involved with these discussions appreciate the diligence with which the discussion team worked and the creativity of the final proposal, which met the standards of competitiveness, affordability and fairness. We will work next on the companion policy for administrative staff and will communicate information about that very soon.

The February meeting is the occasion to approve next year’s budget for capital (renovations to buildings and grounds, as well as equipment). Our highest priority in our facilities improvement plans for 2012-2013 will be $1.1 million reserved for work in student residences, with projects expected to be done in time for the Fall 2012 semester.  We plan such work as renovating the third floor of 21 Romoda to add bedrooms for 10 students, renovating the east wing of Lee Hall and upgrading the rest rooms in Dean Eaton. 

Progress on the objectives of the Strategic Map, particularly the new curriculum being considered by the faculty, the report of the consultants who are helping us reimagine the integration of library and technology, the Facilities Master Plan, and alumni engagement, received Board attention. 

You know from my recent monthly update that our work together has resulted in the first-to-second semester retention of first-year students at 98%, same as last year, which was the highest retention rate since 1992.  I appreciate all that you do to assure the St. Lawrence Promise. 

I invite your comments and questions anytime, to