Review of May 2018 Board of Trustees Meeting | St. Lawrence University President's Office

Review of May 2018 Board of Trustees Meeting

May 21, 2018

Dear Laurentian Friends,

The Spring meeting of the St. Lawrence Board of Trustees concluded Saturday, May 19, and many trustees joined us to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2018. Trustee time on campus was, as always, scheduled fully and carefully to ensure that trustees are well informed for their responsibilities. 

Trustees gave their full attention at the two-hour Strategic Issues session that we hold at each Board weekend to the topic of “Middle States Reaccreditation: Lessons Learned.” Several faculty and staff colleagues shared reflections on the self-study and the Visiting Team’s oral report, noting the work will form the foundation of new strategic planning efforts this fall. I’ll describe this plan in greater outline when we reconvene in August and after the summer Faculty Council-Senior Staff Retreat.

Also in plenary session, we had a thoughtful and caring discussion on the national issue of student depression, mental health awareness, and parental involvement.

Trustees elected Michael W. Ranger’80 as the next chair of the Board, effective June 1, and extended profoundest thanks to Jeffery Boyd’78, who completed a five-year term as chair, as he indicated he would do when elected in 2013.  Jennifer Curley Reichert’90 was elected vice chair of the Board.  The Board will welcome four new members on June 1:  Lisa Tarbox Luke’82, P’12, P’20; Edward Keller’86, Heather McCauley’06 and Scott O’Connell’87, P’16n, P’18.   Our Communications office will share biographic information on these new trustees in the near future.

Several faculty colleagues received confirmation of tenure and/or promotion and we offer warm congratulations to them.  Effective September 1, the following members of the faculty will receive tenure and promotion to associate professor: David Murphy, Environmental Studies; Jeffery Frank, Education; Adam Harr, Anthropology; Jeffrey Maynes, Philosophy; and Jennifer Thomas, Performance and Communication Arts.  Also effective September 1, Caroline Breashears, English; Matthew Carotenuto, History, and Antun Husinec, Geology, will be promoted to professor.

Much of our time together allowed deeper discussions of strategic budgeting progress; the trustees approved the 2018-2019 budget as proposed with the expectation that we will continue to identify savings and to pursue viable opportunities for new revenue over the next year.  Trustees also approved the FY19 capital budget, with part of the budget able to be expended as of July 1 and the remainder to be authorized for expenditure after review of final enrollment figures and expectations for FY19, in October 2018.

Finally, 10 committees of the Board met in routine business; let me offer a few highlights of their agendas.  The University Properties Committee focused on the work done to evaluate our learning spaces, discussed facilities and sustainability campaign opportunities and preferences, and heard an update on the Center for Student Achievement, which will open for the Fall 2018 semester, and on the potential scope and fundraising plans for renovations to Appleton Arena. The Student Life Committee explored sustainability initiatives, the concept and expression of Laurentian for Life, and peer mentoring.  The Promotion and Recruitment Committee had a presentation on digital opportunities to align recruitment and marketing.  And the Academic Affairs Committee talked with faculty about the year-long conversation about academic integrity and the Constitution of the Academic Honor Council and with staff about the University’s research into student retention, identifying trends and strategies for increasing student satisfaction and continuation toward the graduation. 

We now look forward to Reunion, May 31 – June 3, where we are set to celebrate nine milestone reunions including the 50th for the Class of 1968, as well as the history and success of the Higher Education Opportunity Program.  I hope you’ll have a chance to see former students and families throughout the weekend.

Bill Fox