We write with a brief recap of the Board of Managers meeting, which was held virtually last week on Friday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 25.
We began Friday morning by providing the Board with an update on the start of the academic year, which included an overview of the first-year class and transfer students, as well as new members of our faculty and staff. We also discussed the College’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on campus, including the indoor masking mandate and the vaccination requirements for students, faculty, staff members, and visitors.
We then turned to a discussion on the College’s upcoming strategic planning process. The Board received a general overview of the planning timeline. Managers were also asked to consider ways the Board can engage in the process. President Smith will share more information about the strategic planning process with the campus community soon.
As you may recall, Denise Crossan assumed a new position this summer as the College’s director of community and strategic initiatives. Denise provided an overview of the role and described the work she’s doing to help strengthen communities across campus, with a focus on community cohesion and strategic change. She also outlined how that work will help support the strategic planning process.
Newly appointed Vice President for Advancement Liz Wood led a conversation on some preliminary benchmarking she has conducted around the College’s fundraising and advancement efforts, with plans for a more detailed analysis at the Board’s next meeting in December. The presentation included a discussion of ways the College generally fundraises for capital projects.
After passing an interim budget in May, the Board finalized the 2021-22 budget, which was adjusted for current enrollment numbers and related expenses. (As a reminder, we approved the interim budget due to the financial uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic.)
This was the first meeting for our new Board members who were appointed in May: Lauren Glant ’83, Edgar Lee ’98, Asahi Pompey ’94, Brian Wong ’96, and Winston Zee P’07. We are deeply appreciative of their time and energy, and we look forward to their continued contributions to the Swarthmore community.
The Board also paused to recognize the loss of two beloved members of the Swarthmore community, James Hormel ’55, H’09, who was a longtime member of the Board, and Constance Cain Hungerford, who served the College in a number of different capacities, including as interim president.
Finally, we want to share that the Board is deeply grateful to all of you for your extraordinary efforts in dealing with the ongoing pandemic. Not only are your collective efforts helping to keep our community members healthy and safe, but you are enabling the College to continue providing an engaging, enriching, and rewarding residential educational experience in support of the College’s mission.
Valerie Smith, President
Salem Shuchman ’84, Chair, Board of Managers