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Updates from the February 2022 Board of Managers Meeting

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff Members,

We hope this message finds you well. We write today with a brief recap of the most recent Board of Managers meeting, held virtually on February 25 and 26.  

The Board spent much of Friday morning engaged in a thorough conversation about the proposed renovation of Martin Hall into an interdisciplinary space that would house Computer Science and Film & Media Studies. Provost Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Professor and Chair of Film & Media Studies and Coordinator of Gender & Sexuality Studies Patricia White, and Associate Professor of Computer Science Kevin Webb discussed the curricular needs for the project. They talked with the Managers about the challenges and limitations presented by the current physical spaces as well as the curricular and cocurricular benefits of co-locating the programs in this reimagined building. It was exciting to hear from faculty members about the impact this project could have on the student experience.  

Interim Co-Vice Presidents for Finance and Administration Andy Feick and Alice Turbiville and Vice President for Advancement Liz Wood also detailed the ongoing design and construction planning, as well as possible financing options and ongoing fundraising efforts to support the renovation. The Martin Hall project will be presented to the Board for final approval in May. 

In February 2021, we shared with you that the Board committed to addressing approximately $134 million in accumulated deferred maintenance over a 10-15 year period. During this past meeting, acknowledging the critical role our buildings and infrastructure play in supporting a rewarding residential experience, President Smith, along with Andy Feick and Alice Turbiville, laid out a proposal to use a portion of  last year’s unprecedented gains in our endowment to accelerate that timeline to six years. The Board approved the proposal; we will continue to address these needs through an annual capital budget renewal and replacement process, which, as we’ve said in the past, will help us balance the disruption to campus and give us flexibility to respond to variables such as workforce capacity and potential future financial disruptions. 

On Friday afternoon, Managers had the opportunity to hear from Associate Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility Ben Berger and Assistant Dean of Integrated Learning and Leadership and Director of the Center for Innovation in Leadership Katie Clark to learn about the work of their Centers. And, as a highlight of our meeting, Managers enjoyed meeting and learning from students involved in engaged scholarship and leadership programs, including Innovation Interns, Lang Scholars, Periclean Scholars, and SwatTank winners.  

On Saturday morning, Managers started the meeting by recognizing the loss of Pamela Taylor Wetzels ’52, who served on the Board from 2001-09.

The Board has raised more than $250,000 for the dedication of a room in the new Dining and Community Commons as well as an endowed annual staff award in honor of former Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Brown. As we shared in December, the award will recognize the extraordinary contributions that staff members in Auxiliary Services, Dining Services, Environmental Services, Facilities, and Public Safety make to the life of the College.

As it does every February, Managers approved both the 2022-23 revenues and capital budgets. Our February meeting is also typically when the Board undertakes one of its most important and enjoyable responsibilities: approving faculty tenure and promotions. This year, upon the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee, the Board enthusiastically supported the tenure and promotion of 10 faculty members. Our heartfelt congratulations to you all for this hard-earned and well-deserved recognition. 

The Board continues to be grateful for the work of the faculty and staff in service of our students, and looks forward to an in-person meeting in May. We wish all of you a successful and fruitful spring semester.


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