June 24, 2015
On May 9, the Hampden-Sydney Board of Trustees held its final meeting for the 2014-15 academic year. The Board meets three times each academic year - fall, winter, and spring. The Plenary Session is preceded by Board committee meetings.
The Board committee structure was one of the first pieces of business to come before Plenary. The Board By-Laws had been rewritten and approved in 2013, and the restructuring of the committees continued the updating process. The new By-Laws reduced the size of the Board to 35, and the new committee structure reduced the number of committees from 13 to nine and one task force (Marketing).
The Board approved the 2015-16 operating budget of $64,925,365, a 1.687% increase over 2014-15. The College operates, as it has done for over 30 years, with a balanced budget.
The Board approved the replacement of the Hellmuth Turf Field, used for lacrosse and soccer. The eight-year-old field was past its life expediency. Also approved, pending funding, were the relocations of the Fuqua Communications Commons from the first floor to the second floor of Bortz Library and the Fuqua Computing Center from the ground floor of Johns Auditorium to the first floor of Bortz. This will consolidate all technology services in one building and facilitate technical support for academic programs.
The College will expand its existing scholarship program for outstanding applicants with the creation of the James Madison Scholarships. The Board set the endowment level for the Madison Scholarships at $1.25 million. The endowment income for each Madison Scholarship will provide full tuition & fees, room, board and fund books and a summer research or study abroad experience for up to four years.
The Board approved tenure and promotion to associate professor of Rachel M. Goodman, Kristian M. Hargadon '01, and Michael J. Wolyniak, all in biology, and the promotion of C. Kirk Pilkington to Senior Lecturer in history. Emeritus status was granted to three retiring professors, David E. Marion (Government & Foreign Affairs), William A. Shear (Biology) and Susan M. Smith (Modern Languages). The appointments of five replacement tenure-track appointments were approved.
The Board heard reports on both the Strategic Plan and the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest.
President Christopher Howard made presentations on Student Successes, H-SC Competition, and Ten Summer Analysis Initiatives. The Student Successes presentation focused on some of our top students and the wonderful work that they are doing on and off campus. The H-SC Competition was a briefing on the Top 100 liberal arts colleges, our comparable schools, and our cross-application school competitors. The last presentation showed ten analysis areas that we are working on over the summer including new scholarship initiatives, enrollment management strategy development, draft technology plans to support the Strategic Plan, and Title IX policy publication.
This Plenary Session was the last for Chairman Thomas Allen '60, concluding 16 years of service on the Board, seven as chairman. Mr. Allen gave the trustees five parting thoughts that he thinks need to be on the radar of the Board: possible graduate degree programs, reconsideration of debt policy, the student center, the sticker price for tuition and the discount rate, and the continuation of building an incredible Board.
On July 1, Peebles Harrison '89 will assume the chairmanship pf the Board of Trustees.