To the Amherst Community:
The Board of Trustees convened for its winter meeting last weekend, November 30-December 2, 2023, and I’m pleased to offer you a summary of the meeting.
Most trustees arrived on Thursday and met with 18 students as part of a pilot for a series of conversations connecting students to alumni through structured conversations.
On Friday, trustees heard an update on the campus climate related to the conflict in the Middle East and the support, resources, and programming the College has offered and will continue to offer. During that meeting, I discussed with the trustees the College’s policies related to freedom of expression and protest on campus.
Several Trustee Committees met on Friday (or via Zoom prior to the meeting):
- Advancement Committee (via Zoom on November 20): Co-chairs Bill O’Malley ’84 and Elizabeth Shelburne ’01 reviewed the fundraising process, heard an update on the aforementioned alumni and student engagement program, and reviewed the FY24 goals for Advancement.
- Audit and Risk Management (via Zoom on October 25): Chair Nick Zerbib ’93 reviewed the annual Financial Statements for FY23, and the committee met in executive session with the college auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
- Budget and Finance: Simon Krinsky ‘96, reporting for Chair Dave Novak ’91, reviewed the FY24 year-end projections, the termination of the “swap” agreement between the College and Bank of America, and the endowment distribution formula for FY25 and beyond. The committee then met jointly with the Human Resources Committee to review data regarding trends in staffing at the College over the last ten years.
- Buildings and Grounds: Chairs Dave MacLennan ’81 and Dwight Poler ’87 reviewed the status of the Student Center and Dining Commons project and the Climate Action Plan and discussed the planning process underway that will address deferred maintenance.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Chair Chantal Kordula ’94 reviewed college-wide partnerships, collaboration, and engagement with alumni of color. The committee also heard an update on the ODEI division.
- Human Resources: Chair Rejji Hayes ’97 reviewed the updates in dining services, including the interim leadership plan until a new director is hired and the launch of the new, college-wide Foundations of Supervision program.
- Student Life: Chair Beth Cisneros ’89 introduced a panel of five students who discussed their experience as athletes on campus.
The Board of Trustees convened on Saturday, and trustees voted to approve several routine matters, including the approval of the FY23 audited financial statements and a revision to the use of the Copeland Colloquium Fund.
The Board of Trustees then adjourned. That afternoon, several trustees attended the Commissioning Ceremony of Timothy Swope ’23 as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.