Post-Board Meeting Memo - October 2020 | St. Lawrence University President's Office

Post-Board Meeting Memo - October 2020

Dear Laurentian Friends,

As we continue our familiar October habits, the St. Lawrence Board of Trustees met at the end of last week via zoom for a pair of two-hour sessions. Committees of the Board including faculty, staff, and student representatives had met virtually during the past two weeks.

I am pleased to share with you the Board’s deeply felt gratitude for the outstanding community effort, comprehensive and total, in our fall semester's story. From our students’ determined adherence to the Laurentian Pact to our highly talented faculty reimagining the academic experience, from the dedicated staff working night and day to ensure our Laurentian community's health and safety to unfailing the support felt daily from parents and alumni, everyone has played a significant role.

On Thursday afternoon, the Board and faculty, student, and alumni delegates heard updates and discussed recommendations from the Experience St. Lawrence Task Force on Institutional Structure, Policy, and Planning. While there is a long list of opportunities, the career focus, esports, and information technology initiatives were the discussions' focal point. The Board has decided to provide funding to begin each of the initiatives with an expectation that the career focus and esports programs will provide a net increase in revenue. The IT investments are imperative to address chronic issues with Colleague and to realize administrative efficiencies throughout the organization.

Steve Hietsch, vice president for finance and administration reported on the financial status, including analysis and projections of the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Task Force recommendations. Similar material was presented in a recent campus town hall.

The Board approved a resolution from the Investment Committee modifying St. Lawrence University's Investment Policy Statement to include language addressing sustainable investing. 

The trustees celebrated the recent announcement of a $3 million gift to invigorate the new Center for Career Excellence. The Campaign for Every Laurentian has raised more than $185 million.  As we enter the final phase, we continue to increase engagement with alumni and parents through virtual and social media programs. Having resumed active fundraising this fall, our trustees, volunteer leaders, and the University Advancement team have a reliably detailed plan to achieve the campaign goal of $225 million.

Our community has responded to the past six months with the innovation, support, and collaborative spirit that Laurentians are known to demonstrate. I have never been prouder of our community than I am in this moment, knowing personally the depth of sacrifice by many for the sake of many more.

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

Keep going.

Bill Fox