February 7, 2012

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I write to share with you a summary of the most recently completed Board of Trustees meeting. This meeting was held in Washington, D.C. and began with an event for local alumni that drew more than 350 Bucknellians together for several hours of socializing and sharing of Bucknell news. Previously, the board's winter meetings had been held in Newark. Effective this January, we are taking these winter meetings to different cities convenient to trustee travel so that we can bring our trustees and alumni together on these occasions.

In plenary sessions, the board discussed several big-picture items, including the following:

  • Our upcoming decennial review in the Middle States re-accreditation process. We are grateful to Profs. Katie Faull and Tom Solomon, who are co-chairing our Middle States Re-Accreditation Planning Committee and who, along with Provost Mick Smyer, provided the board with a thorough overview on the process and the board's role in the review. 
  • The changing dynamics in government regulations that affect or could affect higher education. This discussion featured an informative talk by Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President, Division of Government and Public Affairs with the American Council on Education.
  • The results of perceptions research commissioned last fall through the Office of Communications. Leslie Rathjens, Executive Vice President at Hart Research, discussed the results of this research, which examined how alumni, donor and admissions audiences view the University and its communications; and Pete Mackey, Vice President for Communications and Community Relations, discussed how the research was informing our communications strategies with these audiences. 

The board unanimously elected Christopher J. O'Brien '80 to trusteeship. Chris was formerly Senior Partner and President, U.S. and European Business at Investcorp Bank. We join the board in welcoming Chris to his important leadership role as a trustee.

My thanks to Prof. Tony Massoud, chair of the Faculty and Faculty Council; and Prof. Tom Cassidy, secretary of the Faculty and Faculty Council, for joining us for these discussions and other board business; and to Profs. Erik Lofgren and Sue Ellen Henry for attending the Finance Committee and Development and External Relations Committee meetings respectively on behalf of the faculty. Thanks as well to the several administrators who attended from offices needed for the board's discussions. 

In committee meetings or other sessions, the board discussed the subjects found here. I hope you find this update useful, and wish you the best as this semester continues.

Sincerely,

John

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