May 2016 Board Meeting Report | St. Lawrence University President's Office

May 2016 Board Meeting Report

To the St. Lawrence Community:

The Spring meeting of the St. Lawrence University Board of Trustees concluded this morning, and many trustees remain with us on campus to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2016.  I take this moment to share with you the major topics of conversation as well as decisions made by the Board.

In plenary sessions, trustees, delegates, senior staff, and faculty guests explored the characteristics of “Generation Z,” the students born in 1995 and later and who are beginning to matriculate at college.  Specifically, we discussed the potential of experiential learning in all its forms (mentored research, study abroad, community-based learning, internships and more) to meet the aspirations of our future students.  We also heard updates from the Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity as well as on comprehensive campaign planning.

The Campaign Steering Committee met on campus and reported that we are on track with all the necessary planning milestones, from feasibility studies, campus input, staff and volunteer organization, and initial leadership support. Since announcing plans to proceed with a comprehensive campaign last summer, significant and affirming progress has been achieved with gift intentions of over $50 million received from trustees and others for professorships, student scholarships, facilities renovations, academic programs and unrestricted support.   Never has this much been raised this fast in St. Lawrence history. Trustees will continue campaign planning by considering priorities and developing themes and messages in detail at our Canaras meeting.

Committees of the Board continued their discussion of “deep-dive” questions that include strategic planning for curriculum, campus facilities, enrollment, and residence life.  These discussions will inform our goals for the comprehensive campaign as well as our annual budget planning exercises.

Upon recommendation of the Compensation Committee, trustees approved the new Faculty Salary policy, which takes effect January 1, 2017.  Also approved at this meeting were the 2016-2017 operating budget and capital budget, the awarding of tenure to Dr. Jayantha Jayman in Global Studies and of promotion to full professor to Dr. Edwin Harcourt, in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics, and to Dr. Pamela Thacher, in Psychology.  Congratulations to our colleagues.

In a separate communication just sent, the Board shared with the campus the advice of the Investment Committee regarding whether non-financial, social objectives should be considered in managing the endowment. The text of the Board’s communication is linked here.

Bill Fox