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Updates from September 2019 Board of Managers Retreat

Dear Friends,

As we have done following our other recent meetings, we write with brief updates from the Board of Managers meeting on campus earlier this semester.

Rather than following our typical format, the Board devoted its one and a half days together in a retreat format focused on governance. Richard Chait, the distinguished scholar and consultant, guided the Board in its discussions about ways it can most effectively serve the College. 

Dr. Chait is an emeritus professor of education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. He studies the management and governance of colleges and universities—specifically the roles, responsibilities, and performance of boards of trustees. Dr. Chait has worked with countless colleges and universities to help their boards understand their roles and responsibilities in the context of a shared governance model.

The Board retreat was similar to the faculty retreat held the previous weekend. This format provides space to reflect upon how we support the long-term vision of the College. We devoted time to discussing the role of Board members, the work of our committees, and ways of gaining insights into issues that have an impact upon the College. As many of you know, the Board’s role is not to manage the daily operations of the College. While the faculty oversee the curriculum and the president and her staff oversee the business operations of the institution, the Board has certain fiduciary responsibilities such as appointing the president, approving the budget that is presented by the administration, and ratifying certain decisions such as tenure and promotion of faculty. The Board is also ultimately responsible for the long-term success of the College, ensuring that our resources remain intact to serve students, faculty, and staff and fulfill the College’s mission in perpetuity.  

The only official business conducted by the Board was the annual approval of the Audited Financial Statement, which will be posted on the College website this week, and a related enabling resolution required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

We look forward to the year ahead and learning about the exciting work of the community relative to the Dining and Community Commons project, the Roadmap to Zero, and more.

Valerie Smith, President
Salem Shuchman ’84, Chair, Board of Managers

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