Board of Trustees Winter Meeting Report | St. Lawrence University President's Office

Board of Trustees Winter Meeting Report

Dear Laurentian Friends,

It has now been a year since the St. Lawrence Board of Trustees last met in person on campus. At the end of last week, the trustees held their winter meeting via Zoom in a pair of sessions on consecutive days. All the committees of the Board, which include faculty, staff, and student representatives, also met on screen the week prior.

On Thursday afternoon, board members and senior staff, along with faculty, student, and alumni delegates heard an update by Steve Hietsch, vice president for Finance and Administration, on the University budget for FY21 and preliminary planning assumptions for building the FY22 budget. The Budget and Finance Committee had robust conversations about the comprehensive fee. While the board voted to establish our base comprehensive fee for the academic year 2021-2022 at $75,750, an increase of 2.5% over the prior year and the lowest rate of growth during the past 20 years at St. Lawrence, they also committed to studying alternatives to the University’s current pricing strategy.

The board heard about the progress being made by the Experience St. Lawrence Task Force on its recommendations. Specifically, they received a presentation on academic restructuring by the co-chairs of the Academic Planning Committee Evelyn Jennings, associate dean for Faculty Affairs, and David Henderson, associate professor of music.

The President’s Task Force on Causes and Prevention of Sexual Misconduct submitted their report, and the board heard a summary of their recommendations. Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Kimberly Flint Hamilton gave the board an overview of the Strategic Action Plan for Diversity and Inclusion that was released to campus earlier this month.

The board elected two new McCurdy-Sprague trustees, Andy Chan ’14 and Emma Phillips ’16, with terms beginning June 1, 2021, and concluding May 31, 2025. The trustees look forward to welcoming Andy and Emma to the summer retreat.

We concluded the meetings celebrating the announcement that the University has received two extraordinary anonymous commitments totaling $18 million. These planned estate gifts signal the confidence of our donors and provide significant momentum towards the successful conclusion of The Campaign for Every Laurentian. The Campaign has raised $215 million in gifts and commitments, 95% of the $225 million goal, with just four and a half months left in the Campaign. University Advancement, along with trustee and volunteer leadership is actively working to raise the remaining funds.

The spring semester is almost halfway complete, and I have witnessed incredible innovation and flexibility across the entire campus. From the classrooms and labs to our co-curricular programming the creativity of all Laurentians has been inspiring.

Your questions and comments are always welcome at wfox@stlawu.edu.

Bill Fox