Board of Visitors holds spring session
April 15, 2011
The Board of Visitors began its quarterly session yesterday in a series of committee meetings held in Blow Memorial Hall.
At the meeting for the Committee on Administration, Lynda Butler, a member of the Committee on Sustainability, presented the current state of sustainability at the College, as well as current and future projects to be implemented.
“We always at William and Mary are conscious of grades, so it is important to know that so far, we have been going up,” Butler said.
Max Cunningham ’13 gave a presentation on his plan to offset the carbon released by transportation by funding environmentally-friendly projects at the College.
“Everyday we participate in activities that emit carbons,” Cunningham said. “An offset happens when we
contribute to a project somewhere else that reduces carbon emissions on a much larger scale.”
Vice President for Administration Anna Martin then discussed the possible implementation of faculty background checks for new hires at the College, which will be decided in the fall.
“Right now, we do background checks on classified and operating employees before they’re hired and on some professional employees,” Martin said. “This policy would broaden those checks to include everyone who is hired. Research faculty, all professionals and all classifieds will have a background check done.”
Later in the day, the Committee on Academic Affairs meeting began with a discussion of the newly-admitted Class of 2015.
The size of the admitted freshman class has grown 5 percent from last year, increasing from 1,400 students in the Class of 2014 to 1,470 in the Class of 2015.
“We were very pleased with the group we admitted this year,” Dean of Admission and Associate Provost for Enrollment Henry Broaddus said. “The academic profile we admitted was pretty comparable [to last year’s].”
The meeting of the Committee of Academic Affairs then focused on the College’s efforts to internationalize its curriculum, highlighting the College’s work on its Confucius Institute, which aims to promote education of Chinese culture and language internationally.
“It’s an exciting prospect for us because the Chinese will send us two additional professors and three instructors each year,” Kathleen Slevin, chancellor professor of sociology and vice provost for academic affairs said.
During the final minutes of the meeting, members discussed the number of professors retiring this year.
“We’re losing some real strength in the faculty,” Committee on Academic Affairs Chair Anita Poston said.
In the last committee meeting of the day, the Committee on Strategic Planning released a report on College efficiencies. The report outlined the College’s plans to cut operating costs, raise money and increase efficiency.
The goal of the meeting was to discuss the College’s strategic plan and budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The BOV also discussed the accomplishments and mistakes from the past year.
“I hope that you are pleased with the way the strategic plan is evolving,” Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Jim Golden said to the BOV. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are making progress.”
Golden introduced the plan to the BOV, highlighting three main initiatives: continued taxpayer support, growing streams of earned income, and increased philanthropy and internal efficiency.
From 2008 to 2010 the College reduced its base operating cost by $8.2 million.
The BOV hopes to enhance efficiency through 17 university-level projects that could provide greater innovation across campus. The first group of projects to be implemented includes improving information technology coordination, streamlining the faculty and staff recruitment process, and putting procedures and forms on a central website.
Golden emphasized that for these projects to be completed, continued support from the College community is necessary.
“I’m really pleased that the strategic plan has been implemented in our culture,” Golden said. “All our campus organizations understand where we’re headed and are supportive. The ideas of the plan are getting reflected in the way that people think about goals.”
Senior Staff Writer Chris McKenna and Assoc. News Editor Ariel Cohen contributed to this report.