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Board of Trustees approves 2015-16 budget

February 26, 2015

Spreadsheets were the order of the day on February 20 as the Board of Trustees approved the operating and capital budget for the 2015-16 academic year. The Board also welcomed new members William Schaff and James Spencer BA ’85 to their first meeting, passed resolutions conferring honorary degrees for this spring’s commencements, and heard presentations on faculty-student collaborations in mathematics and on the graduate school’s new masters degree program in student affairs administration.

The new budget goes into effect June 1, 2015, and provides tuition increases as follows: 4 percent in the College of Arts and Sciences, 3 percent in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and 2.9 percent in the School of Law. The budget also allocates increased funding for financial aid.

The budget includes capital projects for constructing a new home for the Career Center, refurbishing and updating West Hall, and renovating a chemistry lab in Olin Science Center.  All work is scheduled for completion before the start of the fall semester.

With commencements approaching, the trustees approved honorary degrees for Ron Suskind, who will address degree recipients in the College of Arts and Sciences; Christine E. Sleeter PhD, who will address degree recipients in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling; and U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp JD ’80, who will be honored at Law School commencement ceremonies. The board also passed resolutions granting faculty emeritus status to retiring faculty John Callahan and Gary Reiness in the College of Arts and Sciences and to Ruth Shagoury in the graduate school.

Paul Allen, assistant professor of mathematics and Teacher of the Year in the undergraduate college for 2014, was joined by senior Katie Keith for a presentation on their work in optimal control theory. Speaking of her collaborations with faculty, including Assistant Professor of Economics Cliff Bekar, Katie told the Board, “The mosaic of support I’ve received from professors with widely diverse backgrounds has allowed me to explore questions that don’t necessarily fit in one discipline.”

Deans Scott Fletcher and Anna Gonzalez, Associate Provost for Institutional Research and Planning Mark Figueroa, and graduate students Asraa Jaber BA ’14 and Katie Harvey gave a presentation on the masters degree program in student affairs administration. Launched last fall, the program continues to attract many strong applicants.

In other developments at the meeting,

  • Vice President and Treasurer Carl Vance briefed the Finance Committee on the endowment, which reached an all-time high of $229 million at the end of 2014.
  • Dean Lisa Meyer and academic deans Scott Fletcher and Jennifer Johnson provided updates on admissions trends in each of the three schools.
  • The Academic Affairs/Campus Life meeting heard reports and presentations about plans for the Career Center, entrepreneurship, and our growing focus on developing internships and externships in the three schools. The group also heard reports from student representatives to the Board.
  • Vice President for Institutional Advancement Hal Abrams reported that the division is on target to meet or exceed its fundraising goals for the current academic year. He also spoke to the trustees about a road map for greater fundraising success as we approach Lewis & Clark’s sesquicentennial in 2017.

President Glassner extended an invitation for trustees to join him at Friday evening’s Alumni Honors Banquet, where Trustee Paula Hayes BS ’92 would be recognized with other outstanding members of the Lewis & Clark community and receive the Pioneer Alumna Leadership Award.