Trustees discuss finances, student life

by Stephanie McFeeters | 11/12/12 11:00pm

Members of the College's Board of Trustees met with senior administrators to discuss finances and student affairs during their termly meeting on Friday and Saturday, according to Director of Media Relations for the College Justin Anderson. The weekend's meeting featured a presentation on the current state of the College by Interim College President Carol Folt, a discussion regarding new harm reduction initiatives with Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson and a luncheon with current students and recent graduates.

The Board voted to approve the College's audited annual financial statements which will be made public on the institution's website later this week and its affirmative action plan, Anderson said.

Dartmouth's endowment posted an investment return of 5.8 percent for the 2012 fiscal year, and Anderson said the Board remains dedicated to ensuring the financial stability of the College and growing the endowment.

While members of the Board anticipated reviewing a draft report of the College's strategic planning process, the time frame of the plan was extended into next year to permit more community input and "better synchronize with the ongoing presidential search," Anderson said.

Trustees reaffirmed their support for the harm reduction efforts initiated earlier this term, specifically those targeted at sexual assault, Anderson said.

During the meeting, Johnson updated the Board on the successful implementation of the initiatives, citing educational outreach programs led by Director of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies Wes Schaub and students' cooperation with walkthroughs.

During her presentations to the Board, Folt discussed strategic planning, preparations for the presidential transition and ways to enrich the campus environment. Board members expressed support for moving forward with "a bold vision for the future," Folt said, citing a "great feeling of spirit and progress on the Board."

On Friday, Board members had lunch with approximately 20 students including presidential fellows and current seniors to learn about the distinctive academic experiences of undergraduates, Anderson said. Students shared their individual experiences at Dartmouth, including unique opportunities provided by the Dartmouth Plan and mentorship programs such as the Tucker Foundation's First-Year Student Enrichment Program.

Students tend to have a broad range of experiences while at the College, and trustees strive to interact and learn from them while on campus, Anderson said.

"It was meant to give the trustees a better flavor of what it's like to be a student at Dartmouth today," he said.

Board members look forward to voting on and welcoming former College President Jim Yong Kim's replacement once the Presidential Search Committee established in May and led by Trustee Bill Helman '80 selects a candidate, Anderson said.

"The Board wants to make sure the new president has everything he or she needs to be a huge success," Anderson said.

The search committee has said that it will attempt to hire a new president with the intention of him or her taking office on July 1, 2013.

This weekend marked the first time the Board had the opportunity to meet in the newly renovated Hayward Room of the Hanover Inn, Anderson said.

Trustees Annette Gordon-Reed '81, Marye Anne Fox GR'74, Trevor Rees-Jones '73 and Gov. John Lynch, D-N.H., did not attend the meeting, according to Anderson.

Members of the Board were not available for comment by press time.

Sean Connolly contributed reporting to this article.