Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
I write to share with you this brief summary of our recent Board of Trustees meeting, which was held on campus beginning Thursday, Oct. 16, and concluded with the Board's business meeting on Saturday, Oct. 18. Included with this letter are summaries of the committee meetings held during the three days, which you can find by clicking here.
At its retreat in September, the Board focused on short- and long-term strategic priorities for the University as they relate to the five pillars of The Plan for Bucknell. The work done at the retreat helped to inform much of what was discussed during the Board meeting, as it will for many meetings yet to come. Among those strategic pursuits is moving forward with the vision to establish a College of Management.
As you know, last year the School of Management received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a true testament to the great work of our management colleagues. The natural evolution is to move the School to a College of Management, which, integrated properly with our College of Arts & Sciences and College of Engineering, will further distinguish Bucknell from our peer and competitor schools and strengthen our academic core. Among our immediate goals are to identify the true costs and other resources necessitated by this transition, and determine the ways in which the three colleges will align and intersect. The Board aspires to officially establish a College of Management in the 2015-16 academic year.
In addition, I am pleased to report that the Board approved the use of up to $7.9 million for the much-needed restoration of the Carnegie Building. No decisions have been made regarding how the space will be used, aside from maintaining the geology labs currently located in the basement of Carnegie. The Operations & Management Group will confer with the Academic Space Committee and the University Space Committee to help determine the best use for the building. Work on the building is expected to start in the spring and be completed by January 2016.
The University closed fiscal year 2014 with an operating surplus of more than $5 million, due in large part to a higher number of enrolled students than planned when forecasting the budget. On the administration's recommendation, the Board elected to allocate $3 million of the surplus to support the WE DO Campaign and placed the remainder in the University's quasi-endowment.
During the meeting's first plenary session, which was held on Friday, Chief Investment Officer Chris Brown delivered an in-depth presentation on the University's endowment. Chris provided the Board with a historical overview of the endowment's performance, which has experienced significant growth over the past several years. He also discussed the Investment Office's strategies to continue growing the endowment while protecting it from significant risk.
A second plenary session held on Saturday focused on Title IX compliance and related issues. General Counsel Amy Foerster led an informative and timely discussion on the history and evolution of Title IX, along with a look at more recent developments and their impact on Bucknell. Amy outlined what is expected and required of us as a University and presented a comprehensive overview of all that we at Bucknell are doing to meet our responsibilities and the needs in this area of our students, faculty and staff.
This meeting officially welcomed three new trustees: Brenda Earl '81, Erika Stanat '90 and Robin G. Zafirovski '79. It is worth noting that our active board now comprises 40 percent women. We thank all of our trustees for their commitment and service to Bucknell.
I would also like to thank our colleagues for attending various committee and open meetings as representatives of the faculty, including: Prof. Kim Daubman, faculty chair; Prof. Gary Steiner, secretary of the faculty; and Profs. Karen Castle, Bastian Heinsohn, Matthew Slater, Joe Meiser, Jim Baish, Stephen Buonopane and Mitch Chernin. I am also grateful for the wonderful turnout of more than 300 guests for the 2014-15 Academic Year Celebration Dinner, during which we recognized last spring's faculty award recipients, welcomed our new faculty members and paid tribute to faculty for their numerous achievements in creative works and external grants. We also celebrated three alumni who received special awards for their professional accomplishments and contributions to Bucknell.
And of course my many thanks to all of you for the great work each of you does for our students and on behalf of Bucknell.