Committee on Audit
The College of William and Mary’s seasonal Board of Visitors meetings began late Wednesday afternoon with the meeting of the Committee on Audit.
“The official audit report, although expected to be finished at the time of the meeting, has been delayed and will not be published for a few months,” Director of Internal Audit Michael Stump said.
After coming to a quorum, the committee began with its audit on compliance, led by University Compliance and Policy Officer Kiersten Boyce.
The committee spent a majority of the open session discussing compliance with state and federal laws concerning the protection of minors on the College’s campus. Although many underclassmen are not legally minors, the regulations under discussion specifically concerned the large number of elementary and high school students that visit the College throughout the year, namely in the various youth programs held on campus over the summer.
“I was surprised how many events we conduct that do bring in minors on campus,” Boyce said.
Although the audit has been completed, the College has not yet fully implemented changes. Rather, the report makes several policy suggestions.
“There are already some actions that have been taken,” Boyce said. “There is not full implementation of these recommendations — they were finalized only a couple of weeks ago.”
Suggestions included a mandated ratio of program staff to minors. Although the question of mandatory background checks has been raised, the College has not yet considered it seriously.
Other suggestions include making the process for reporting incidents of sexual abuse more efficient.
“Increasing the information available on reporting mechanisms and reporting obligations is huge,” Boyce said.
BOV Meeting on Academic Affairs and Provost Report
The Provost Report and a presentation by faculty members highlighted the BOV Academic Affairs Committee Meeting Thursday.
The BOV voted in favor of a policy requiring the different departments and colleges to improve the incorporation of non-tenure eligible faculty, or NTEs, in administrative positions and other aspects of the College.
Questions arose about creating a broad, universal policy to incorporate these faculty members, but Provost Michael Halleran spoke in favor of separate policies, as NTEs are used in different ways in different departments.
“This [initiative] does prescribe certain things that must be included,” Halleran said, “[Historically], we have been a fairly decentralized university.”
The faculty presentation described the feelings and thoughts of the assembly and faculty leaders toward next year.
The presenters stressed the growth of the use of technology in the classroom as well as the new NTE policy and other academic initiatives.
“We’re going to make sure that our students continue to have the education you want them to have in these economic times,” Raitt said.
Next, Halleran gave his Provost Report, in which he described the Creative Adaptation Fund.
The Creative Adaptation Fund receives applications and proposals from faculty that suggest policies or initiatives that could positively change the academic efficiency and environment of the school. This is the first year the fund will be utilized, and Halleran is optimistic about its effectiveness.
“What impressed me was the range of proposals,” Halleran said.
The programs selected and funded by the $200,000 budget of the Creative Adaptation Fund include the redesign of the principles of economics course to incorporate an online learning module, a post-baccalaureate classical studies curriculum, a January term program, e-Learning summer courses for faculty, a fee-based Virginia Institute of Marine Science outreach education program, a virtual chemistry lab for General Chemisty 101 and 103 students, and an e-learning curriculum to teach vital prerequisites for a Masters in Accounting.
— Meredith Ramey
Committee on Student Affairs
Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06 introduced several initiatives taken by the Student Health Center during the Committee on Student Affairs meeting Thursday.
The health center has recently purchased new pharmacy software in order to conduct third-party billing and has hired two hourly pharmacists.
With the new staff and software, the health center saw a net profit of $98,726 in fiscal year 2012, which was a 400 percent increase in profits, according to Ambler.
Trammell questioned how wellness and nutrition were being addressed by the College on campus.
“[Vice President for Administration]Anna Martin and I just met with the Food Services Advisory Committee,” Ambler said. “And we’re talking about what we can do to help students make good choices in the dining halls, which would include having things labeled appropriately.”
Ambler also showcased the new At Risk suicide prevention program at the meeting. The program utilizes avatars and guides to direct students how to handle mental health issues.
“We’ve done a lot to support those in need, but ultimately, what we want to do is build resilient skills among students,” Ambler said.
The program will be available to students until May 2013 due to a grant from the McGlade family. Ambler also noted that the College is currently working to secure funding for the program in the future.
Committee on Development
The BOV Committee on Development met to discuss two initiatives.
The first resolution moves $25,0
00 in donated money into an endowment fund to provide support for the chemistry department.
The resolution to fund the endowment was approved.
The second resolution addressed funding needs for the Christopher Wren Association. The association requested $60,000 to fund the organization for the upcoming fiscal year.
The committee remained in closed session for the majority of the meeting.
— Ellie Kaufman
Committee on Administration
Halleran presented to the BOV Committee on Administration Thursday, pointing out the comparatively low pay of professors at the College in relation to their State Council for Higher Education of Virginia peer group.
The College ranked No. 21 in its cohort of 25 universities from across the country in terms of average faculty pay.
“If you look at median as market competitive, we’re just nowhere close,” BOV Secretary Dennis Liberson ’78 said.
VIMS professor and co-chair of the Sustainability Steering Committee Dennis Taylor presented on the state of sustainability at the College, noting an increased awareness of environmental issues, as well as the fact that the College must now face larger-scale issues such as creating a climate action plan and moving to more renewable energy sources.
“This is going to get harder and harder as we go forward … this is where the real challenges are,” Taylor said.
— Jill Found
Committee on Buildings and Grounds
The BOV may have answered the wishes of many science majors when phase three of the Integrated Science Complex was unveiled at the Committee on Buildings and Grounds meeting Thursday.
Millington Hall lecture rooms and labs will be a thing of the past by spring 2016, as science majors will enjoy a 113,000 square foot complex that holds flexible lab space, a greenhouse, a 300-person lecture hall and a two-story commons area with a coffee and snack bar.
“We were more aggressive in ISC III than we were with ISC I and II in terms of conservation,” Martin said. “[The new complex] groups those departments in optimal adjacencies and creates space for interdisciplinary research.”
The $85 million project was approved by the General Assembly, but was not the only project to receive funding.
“We received more dollars than we expected to,” Martin said.
The money will be used to fund the $2.25 million renovation of the Brafferton and part of a $16.4 million renovation to Tyler Hall, set to begin in July.
Government,economics, international relations and public policy majors, among others, will find their new campus home in Tyler instead of Morton Hall, a relocation welcomed by Reveley. The future of Morton, in Reveley’s eye, involved more landscaping.
“In the near long term, Morton needs to become a beautiful meadow, but we are not there yet,” Reveley said.
Women’s studies, African American studies, sociology and classical studies will remain in Morton.
Greek life will also reap some benefit from construction plans. BOV members were briefed on the groundbreaking and resident selection process of the new inter-fraternity complex.
After noting the widespread student support for the new fraternity housing and the relative success of the resident selection process, Reveley said the new construction will require a cultural change.
“We have gotten flack from fraternity alumni who have bought into the story that we are out to get frats,” Reveley said. “This particular initiative [is] really redeeming social value on three fronts, even though people have pushed back, saying why are [we] doing this for the fraternities when there are so many other needs.”
Reveley’s three fronts included the obvious benefits new housing will give to the 30 percent of the student population involved in Greek life, the 189 new beds non-Greek students will acquire once the units are available and a makeover of the units themselves.
“Sororities are doing better than fraternities. Fraternities are feeling isolated. The units will go from being downtrodden to a new state of grace where they will be a nice place to live,” Reveley said. “I am hellbent on giving them names.”
The General Assembly also provided $3.5 million for utilities management and part of an $80 million project to adjust the thermal storage unit.
“When you have dorms, you want them to be truly modern,” BOV Secretary Janet Brashear ’82 said. “This enables us to do that.”
A $3 million accessibility project to improve pathways, signs and other features around campus will also address ten years worth of work, according to Martin.
The College will also oversee the demolition of a graduate house on Jamestown Road.
According to VIMS Dean and Director John Wells, VIMS received funding for a new research vessel, consolidated scientific research facility and the maintenance reserve. all received funding.
— Vanessa Remmers