February 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

Updates on the February Board meeting, the new board chair Mindy McWilliams Lewis ’75, P’05, Commencement and Be Well.

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke community,

We write to report on the recent Board of Trustees meeting, held on campus from February 21–23, 2019.

The board enthusiastically elected Mindy McWilliams Lewis ’75, P’05, as the next chair of the Board of Trustees, beginning July 1, 2019. A former two-term trustee, Mindy was the board’s vice chair in 2017. She served on the steering committee for the $305 million Campaign for Mount Holyoke, cochairing its Legacy of Diversity effort. She has also served on multiple committees of the Alumnae Association. We look forward to Mindy’s inspired leadership.

Current trustees Carrianna K. Field ’97Natasha Mohanty ’03 and Louise Wasso ’75 were elected to serve new five-year terms, also beginning July 1, 2019. The trustees also elected Avice Meehan ’77 as Alumnae Trustee for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2020.

In its formal actions, the board voted to:

  • Approve a recommendation from the Finance Committee to set the 2019-2020 tuition rate at $52,040, the room rate at $7,504, and the board rate at $7,816, for a total fee of $67,360.
  • Approve the capital projects and allocations budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 as submitted, in the total amount of $6,106,440.
  • Award 71 seniors the degree of Bachelor of Arts and three graduate students the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching.
  • Approve tenure for Ligia Bouton (Art Studio), Amy Hitchcock Camp (Biological Sciences) and Desmond Fitz-Gibbon (History).
  • Approve reappointment for Katie Berry (Chemistry), Timothy Chumley (Mathematics and Statistics), Cora Fernandez Anderson (Politics), Corey Flanders (Psychology and Education), Alana Hoyer-Leitzel(Mathematics and Statistics), Margaret (Gretchen) Lay (Economics), Johannes Norling (Economics), Matthew C. Watson (Sociology and Anthropology) and Lan Wu (History).
  • Approve endowed chairs for Anouk Alquier, Reverend Joseph Paradis Visiting Instructor in French; Jonathan Ashby, Bertha Phillips Rodger Assistant Professor of Chemistry (junior chair for three-year term); Kate Ballantine, Marjorie Fisher Associate Professor of Environmental Studies; Robin Blaetz, Emily Dickinson Professor of Film Studies; Kimberly Juanita Brown, Elizabeth C. Small Associate Professor of English; Ombretta Frau, Dorothy Rooke McCulloch Professor of Italian; Gary Gillis, Norman Wait Harris and Emma Gale Harris Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences; Karen Remmler, Mary Lyon Professor of Humanities; and Nieves Romero-Díaz, Professor of Spanish on the Alumnae Foundation.
  • Approve the recommendations for retirement for Corinne M. DemasLeah Glasser and Stephen Jones.

In its full meetings, the board discussed a range of issues, including:

  • The impact on Mount Holyoke of recent announcements by Hampshire College, its search for a partner to assure its financial future, and some governance concerns that have been a topic of conversation across the Five Colleges.
  • Efforts on curricular reform and improved assessment of student learning.
  • The higher education landscape and Title IX legislation.
  • Ongoing branding and visual identity work at the College.
  • Financial priorities.
  • Management models for the endowment.

In committee meetings, the Student Affairs Committee received an update and presentation on Be Well, a student wellness initiative that recently received a regional Program of the Year Award from NASPA, the national organization for student affairs professionals in higher education. The Enrollment and Finance committees met jointly to discuss recruitment efforts. The Finance Committee also met to review financial forecasts, as well as upcoming capital projects. At the meeting of the Joint Conference Committee of faculty and trustees, members discussed how, in the light of Hampshire College’s challenges, the College’s bylaws provide governance and transparency safeguards with respect to board actions. The Joint Conference Committee will continue to discuss opportunities for collaboration and interaction between the faculty and trustees.

On Thursday evening, trustees met over dinner with student members of the Women in Business and Entrepreneurship clubs. A variety of topics, including how the College can further support students interested in the business sector, were discussed.

As always, we extend our appreciation to all members of the Mount Holyoke community who contributed to an engaging and productive board meeting.


Barbara Baumann ’77 
Chair, Board of Trustees

Sonya Stephens