Dear Laurentian Friends:
The St. Lawrence Board of Trustees convened its winter meeting Thursday, February 21, and adjourned Saturday, February 23. I write to share with you the highlights of our plenary and committee gatherings. Our collective work on strategic budgeting continued to receive careful and thorough attention from the trustees.
Trustees meet in plenary session with faculty, student and alumni delegates, and also meet in committees, with faculty and student representatives present. Our plenary session topics introduce or expand upon topics that trustees seek to understand more thoroughly in order to lead the University. For example, on Friday morning, we convened for a two-hour discussion about Gen Z, the students who attend St. Lawrence and will enroll over the next decade. Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid Florence Hines shared the presentation she prepared for our campus Employee Development Day, and Vice President for Communications Paul Redfern joined for a discussion of the intersection of Gen Z attributes and St. Lawrence’s research on brand identity. Many faculty and staff attended the session by Carnegie Dartlet last month for a preview of this topic.
Committee meetings comprise most of Thursday afternoon and Friday, I’ll highlight discussions or actions of some of our dozen committees.
Trustees learned through the Promotion and Recruitment Committee that total applications for the Class of 2023 have surpassed last year’s total, crossing the 6900 application mark for the first time for St. Lawrence. The committee heard about efforts to expand and strengthen the authentic personal contact between Laurentians, especially faculty, and admitted students, the focus of the January Faculty Council and Senior Staff Retreat.
At the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee, the Board voted to establish our base comprehensive fee for 2019-20 at $71,395, an increase of 3.5% for tuition, room, and board. This increase is in line with the same rate of increase as the last several years. Trustees continue to press each other and us on campus to minimize the increases we ask of our families, who we all know make significant investment in the St. Lawrence education. Funding additional scholarships for students with financial need is one of the priorities of the Campaign for Every Laurentian, and so far they have provided $14,000,000 in endowed gifts and commitments for 100 scholarships, and an additional $6.5 million for 24 scholarships available for immediate use.
Members and guests at the University Properties Committee reviewed progress on plans to renovate Appleton Arena and on the Residential Needs and Plans Committee’s collaboration with newly hired architectural consultant and planner EYP
The Academic Affairs Committee discussed the First-Year Program and Sophomore Journeys initiative and data regarding evolving student interests by major and minor.
Finally, the Campaign Steering Committee reviewed the $148 million in gifts and pledges received to date, and discussed strategies for the $225 million goal.
Thanks to all who joined the trustees for their time on campus. I welcome your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.