Report on the May 2013 Board of Trustees Meeting

May 10, 2013

Dear Members of the Mount Holyoke Community,

We are pleased to report on the recent meetings of the Board of Trustees, held on campus on May 2, 3, and 4. In addition to the customary committee and Board meetings, the trustees held two plenary sessions and a dinner in honor of departing trustees and staff. The Board approved the operating and capital budgets for 2013-2014, the awarding of degrees and certificates at commencement on May 19, and a number of faculty promotions and honors.

The Board’s first plenary session focused on the collaborative work of the Advancement Office, the Alumnae Association, and the President in support of the College and the alumnae. In the second plenary session, the College Planning Committee reported on accomplishments across the College during 2012-2013, and strategic priorities for 2013-2014. Trustees were encouraged by the direction and progress to date, but also mindful of the need to push forward with facilities master planning and such vital initiatives as Curriculum to Career and Mount Holyoke Extension.

At its formal meeting on Saturday, the Board approved promotion to the rank of Professor for Gary Gillis in Biological Sciences, Rie Hachiyanagi in Art Studio, Matthew McKeever in Sociology, Joshua Roth in Anthropology, Preston Smith in Politics, and Ying Wang in Asian Studies. For Sonya Stephens, the incoming Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, the Board approved the recommendation for appointment with tenure in French at the rank of Professor. Emeritus status was granted to Joseph Cohen in Psychology, Paul Dobosh in Computer Science, Louise Litterick in Music, Charlene Morrow in Psychology and Education, James Morrow in Mathematics and Statistics, and William Quillian in English. The Board also appointed seven faculty members to endowed chairs: Joan Cocks, Professor of Politics, to one of the two Ford Foundation Chairs; Darby Dyar, Professor of Astronomy, to the Kennedy-Schelkunoff Chair; Andrew Lass, Professor of Anthropology, to one of the two Ford Foundation Chairs; Anthony Lee, Professor of Art History, to the Idella Plimpton Kendall Chair; Michael Penn, Associate Professor of Religion, to the William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair; Margaret Robinson, Professor of Mathematics, to the Julia and Sarah Ann Adams Chair; and Jon Western, Five College Professor of International Relations, to the Carol Hoffmann Collins ’63 Chair. Lenore Reilly, the incoming Senior Advisor to the President, was confirmed by the Board as Secretary of the College.

Trustees continue to renew their own ranks. Jeanne Amster ’77 was elected to a second term. Katherine Collins ’74 and Ellen Flannery ’73 were elected to begin five-year terms this summer, joining Catherine Burke ’78 and Helen Drinan ’69 as the four incoming trustees. Four is also the number of departing trustees honored at a celebratory dinner on Friday evening: Barbara Baumann ’77, Eleanor Chang ’78, Lila Gierasch ’70, and Kavita Ramdas ’85. The Board also paid tribute to departing members of the Senior Staff.

The Board approved a budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 that balances operating expenses of $120.3 million against operating revenue and other funding. The budget provides for a modest raise pool of 2%, plus a small equity adjustment pool. The 2013-2014 budget continues to show unrestricted expenditures increasing faster than total revenues. Aligning the two is a challenge we must, and will, meet. Also approved were capital projects and allocations budgets totaling $11.6 million for improvements to campus spaces, infrastructure, and systems.

Trustees appreciated the opportunity to talk with incoming Dean of Faculty Sonya Stephens on Thursday, and to hear throughout the weekend about momentum in curricular discussions, reconsideration of graduation requirements, online and other technology-enhanced approaches to teaching and learning, and especially Curriculum to Career. The Board expressed its support for the President’s work in establishing a group to coordinate the various strands of C2C, and another group to move forward on Career Development in tandem with C2C. The Board shares the Mount Holyoke community’s delight that the $ 300 million goal of our Comprehensive Campaign is in sight. We are grateful to the trustees and others who established the 175th Challenge Fund, which doubles the impact of gifts as the campaign draws towards a successful close.

After reviewing the proposed new mission statement in several committee meetings, and noting the thorough vetting process on campus, the Board adopted this statement:

Mount Holyoke's mission is to provide an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts and sciences through academic programs recognized internationally for their excellence and range; to draw students from all backgrounds into an exceptionally diverse and inclusive learning community with a highly accomplished, committed, and responsive faculty and staff; to continue building on the College’s historic legacy of leadership in the education of women; and to prepare students, through a liberal education integrating curriculum and careers, for lives of thoughtful, effective, and purposeful engagement in the world.

We look forward to closing out the year with an unprecedented Commencement featuring an all-alumnae slate of honorary degree recipients and speakers who truly embody 175 Years of Women of Influence.

With gratitude for all that you do for Mount Holyoke, and with best wishes for a fulfilling summer,

Mary Graham Davis, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Lynn Pasquerella, President of the College