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Fall Board Meeting Update

Inclusivity and campus climate highlighted during Board of Trustees meeting

During their fall meeting this past weekend, Dickinson’s trustees engaged with the campus community, discussed Dickinson’s future in a changing higher education environment and heard an update on inclusivity and campus climate.

Throughout the weekend, trustees had opportunities to interact with members of the Dickinson community, including special events with junior faculty, newly tenured and promoted faculty, and the chairs of all-college committees and presidential commissions. Board members also talked with seniors during a cider social open to all members of that student class. In addition to sharing career advice with seniors, trustees encouraged the students to apply for the Young Alumni Trustee position, a two-year role with full voting rights that provides a new graduate with a voice in governing the college. Ethan Andrews, the newest Young Alumni Trustee and a member of the class of 2016, attended his first board meeting and took an active role in discussions.

Trustees spent several hours in a broad, open-ended conversation about Dickinson’s future. While Dickinson is in a strong position, the trustees are aware of the challenges and opportunities posed by demographic changes and the rising cost of higher education. Trustees were optimistic about the college’s ability to find innovative ways to thrive in the changing marketplace, and they committed to continuing this important conversation about the future with the Dickinson community.

With the search for a new president in full swing, board members received an update from Jane Gruenebaum, vice president for Isaacson, Miller, the firm leading the effort in concert with the search committee. Gruenebaum particularly noted that candidates are well aware of Dickinson’s strong market position and leadership in global and sustainability education. Over the next two months, the firm and the search committee will be reviewing and narrowing the growing list of potential candidates. Their goal is to interview a small group of candidates early in the new year.

Neil Weissman, interim president, and Joyce Bylander, vice president and dean of student life, led a discussion on campus climate and inclusion efforts. They reported that Dickinson is not immune to the tensions occurring throughout the country, as reflected in incidents that have occurred to students on and off campus. They noted that the administration continues to work closely with various student groups and described some of the ways in which the college is working to support our now more diverse student body.

Trustees also approved the fiscal year 2016 audit and adopted a modified operating budget for the current fiscal year. In addition, trustees authorized an increase in the anticipated 2017 bond issue up to $25 million in new money, funds primarily for the new residence hall, a project scheduled to begin construction in spring 2017.

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Published October 26, 2016