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Board of Managers meeting update, May 2022

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,

We write with a summary of the most recent Board of Managers meeting, which took place on May 6 and 7. The Board was able to gather in person on campus for the first time since December, which created opportunities for Managers to engage in meaningful conversations with students, faculty, and staff members.

On Friday, a number of student-athletes, coaches, and other members of the Athletics Department had lunch with the Managers. We discussed a host of topics, including the remarkable successes of the College’s student-athletes, both in the classroom and in the arena of play. We are grateful to all who joined the conversation. On Friday evening, Managers had dinner with several faculty members from across academic departments. It was a lovely night of engaging conversation. Our thanks to those who attended. 

During its meeting, the Board held three plenary sessions. The first was a final presentation on the renovation of Martin Hall into an interdisciplinary space that will house the departments of Computer Science and Film & Media Studies. The presentation included a comprehensive update on construction plans, financing, and fundraising efforts led by Co-Interim Vice Presidents of Finance & Administration Andy Feick and Alice Turbiville and Vice President for Advancement Liz Wood. We are pleased to share with you that the Board approved the project, and that renovations to the building will begin in spring 2023, with an expected completion date in fall 2025. 

Marian Ware Director of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation Brad Koch shared with the Board his reflections and observations after nearly a year in the position. That included an overview of his vision for strengthening the department, not just for student-athletes, but for all students, with a particular focus on health and well-being.  

With the College’s strategic planning process underway, we felt it was important that the Board have an understanding of the higher education landscape beyond Swarthmore. As such, we invited higher education strategists from the consulting firm EY-Parthenon to talk with the Board about current trends, challenges, and opportunities. Representatives from EY-Parthenon also met with members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee to begin conversations as to how they can be resources for the working groups.  

Each May, the Board carries out one of its primary fiduciary responsibilities: approving the annual operating budget. During discussions around the coming fiscal year budget, the Board recognized the challenging effects of inflation on College employees and the need to help mitigate its impact. To address these issues while recognizing the extraordinary work and commitment of the College’s employees during these difficult times, the Board approved the following, effective July 1: 

  • A 5% pay increase for eligible staff members.
  • A 4.25% pay increase for all student workers.
  • A 4.25% pay increase for all continuing faculty. The Board also accepted the recommendation from the Provost and Finance Office to adjust average faculty salaries across all ranks to 102.5% of our peer group, based on the recent AAUP survey. 

The Board approved the 2022-23 expense budget, and the Budget Office will send more details on the approved fiscal year 2022-23 operating budget to departmental financial managers in the weeks ahead.

Managers approved the appointment of Harold “Koof” Kalkstein ’78 as chair and Sujatha Srinivasan ’01 as vice-chair.  They will assume their new roles on July 1. The Board also recognized two managers who will conclude their service on the Board effective June 30, Rhonda Resnick Cohen ’76 and Gus Schwed ’84. The Board also thanked current Board Chair Salem Shuchman ’84, who will conclude his term as chair on June 30. The Swarthmore community is grateful for these managers and their extraordinary commitment to and stewardship of the College. The Board also approved two new managers, whose names will be announced later this year.

A message from Salem Shuchman '84, Chair, Board of Managers 
"As my term as Board chair concludes on June 30, I want to thank both the Board of Managers and the Swarthmore community for giving me the opportunity to serve the College. During the past four years, we have seen an array of challenges, and it has been inspiring to watch how our community has overcome them with determination, resilience, and creativity. I look forward to continuing my time on the Board in support of our shared goal of making Swarthmore a better, stronger institution of higher learning. "

And as it does each May, the Board had the pleasure of approving the conferral of degrees for members of the Class of 2022, pending final approval by the faculty. We look forward to celebrating the graduating class at Commencement on May 22.

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