Spring 2018 Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

A letter summarizing the Board meeting that took place May 3 – 5, 2018.

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke College community,

We write to report on the recent Board of Trustees meeting, held on campus from May 3 through May 5, 2018.

During its formal proceedings, and following extensive discussion over the past academic year, the Board unanimously voted to include a statement in its bylaws affirming the College’s identity as a women’s college. The College’s policy for admission remains unchanged from 2014: The College maintains its historic commitment to the education of women and to those marginalized as a result of their gender. Added to Article 1, Section 2 of the Bylaws of the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College is the following: The College exists as a women’s college.

The trustees approved a balanced budget for fiscal year 2019, which starts on July 1, with revenues and expenses of $138.6 million, including a 2 percent increase in salaries for staff and an overall 2 percent increase to the faculty salary pool.

In addition, the Board approved the construction of the new Maker and Innovation Lab, commencing this summer, in the former dining and lounge areas located in Prospect Hall. This 8,000-square-foot facility will help us prepare future leaders by combining technology and the liberal arts to teach and engage students from every academic discipline.

Upon recommendation from the Board’s Education Committee, the Trustees voted to award:

  • The degree of Bachelor of Arts to 504 seniors.
  • The degree of Master of Arts in Teaching to 41 graduate students.
  • The Postbaccalaureate Certificate to one student.
  • The Certificate for International Students to nine students.

The Board also approved:

  • The promotion to full professor for Renae Brodie (Biological Sciences) and Elizabeth K. Markovits (Politics).
  • The promotion to senior lecturer for Peter T. Jones (Dance), Mark C. Shea (English), and Lei Yan (Asian Studies).
  • The reappointments of Mark Lauer to senior lecturer (German Studies) and Carolyn Shread to lecturer (French).
  • Emeritus/a status for Catherine Bloom (French), James Coleman (Dance), Joanne V. Creighton (Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor of English, and President Emeritus of the College), Terese Freedman (Dance), Jeanne Friedman (Physical Education and Athletics), Gail A. Hornstein (Psychology and Education), Linda Laderach (Music), Andrew Lass (Anthropology), Sandra M. Lawrence (Psychology and Education), Laurie Priest (Physical Education and Athletics), and Joseph Smith (Art Studio).

In other actions, the Board unanimously approved the re-election of trustees Ellen J. Flannery ’73 and Katherine E. Collins ’74, each to serve a second five-year term; and the re-election of Barbara M. Baumann ’77 as chair of the Board for an additional one-year term, beginning July 1, 2018.

In addition, the Board unanimously elected two new trustees: Camille C. Malonzo ’16 to a three-year term as a Young Alumna Trustee and Sarah M. Wells ’10 to a five-year term.

In other meetings and during the regular business of standing committees, the Board discussed a range of topics, including:

  • The results of the annual student survey, which, among many things, suggested that students and the Board work together to establish additional and more regular opportunities for students to meet with trustees.
  • Updates from Acting President and President-elect Stephens on progress made on the four main priorities of The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021, as well as a brief overview on recent work on the College’s visual identity.
  • Current and future plans for Professional and Graduate Education, including descriptions of degree and non-degree programming.
  • Curricular initiatives and efforts to recruit a diverse faculty.
  • Enrollment strategy, updates on the incoming class of 2022, and social media trends and usage among prospective students.
  • Fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019 budgets, including endowment-spending distribution.
  • Current issues in institutional risk, including data security compliance.

As is customary at its May meeting, the Board honored departing trustees, who this year were Casey Accardi ’15, Jeanne E. Amster ’77, Catherine Burke ’78, Mindy McWilliams Lewis ’75 and Kaitlyn Szydlowski ’09. Part of the celebration was held in the recently completed coffeehouse and pub located on the lower level of the newly renovated Blanchard Hall in the Community Center. Each of the departing trustees was feted — for their years of service, their thoughtful engagement on topics of strategic importance to the College, and their generous philanthropic support — with heartfelt tributes, robust applause and hand-painted Italian-style ceramics depicting the Mount Holyoke class symbols.

Finally, over the Commencement and Reunion weekends, graduates, families and guests, trustees, faculty and staff, and the hundreds of alumnae returning to campus demonstrated that a little rain can never dampen the extraordinary spirit of Mount Holyoke College. With over 3,500 in attendance at Commencement in the Field House, and more than 900 alumnae and guests attending Reunion, the campus was abuzz with activity.

We thank the Mount Holyoke community for all of their many efforts that contributed to a productive and informative Board meeting, and for their work, support and spirit that resulted in a spectacular Commencement and two extraordinary Reunion weekends.


Barbara Baumann ’77
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Sonya Stephens
Acting President and President-elect