Highlights of the May Board of Trustees Meeting
May 23, 2017
The spring meeting of the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees was held on Friday, May 6. Highlights included conversations on fundraising, investment policies, and a vision for Lewis & Clark.
At the meeting of the Institutional Advancement Committee, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Josh Walter gave a presentation on strategic planning and the potential timeline and contours for a forthcoming comprehensive campaign, as well as a reconfiguration of the Leadership Society timed to our sesquicentennial year. In the concurrent session of the Finance Committee, the board previewed a series of financial ratios to track the health of the college over time and looked at multiyear budget planning models.
In the Black Box Theatre, board members ate lunch with graduating students from all three schools and learned about their plans for life after Lewis & Clark.
In the plenary session, the board discussed a draft of Lewis & Clark’s vision and identity statements based on work that Interim President David Ellis crowd-sourced with Executive Council and dozens of other members of the campus community. Board members heard reports from the student representatives to the board, thanked Beth Miller BS ’73 for her 21 years of distinguished service, and approved her new status as life trustee. Mark Dorman BS ’83, also voted a life trustee, served for 11 years and was given a witty and emotional send-off by David Ellis, who briefly donned academic regalia to deliver Mark’s honorary degree for his service as board chair. Appreciation was shown as well to Mike Holtzclaw BA ’87 and Dan Eller JD ’04 who concluded their two-year terms as alumni representatives to the board. And emeritus status was conferred to Senior Lecturer in Art and Studio Head of Drawing Debra Beers.
The board approved enhanced Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investment policy statements. In addition, the Investment Committee of the board heard a presentation from student representatives of SEED (Students Engaged in Eco-Defense) on their petition to divest from fossil fuels. The committee voted to discontinue new investments in fossil fuels and to form an ad hoc committee composed of trustees, students, faculty, and staff to address a divestment process.
In late April, the Academic Affairs and Campus Life Committee previewed longitudinal strategic indicators tracking CAS cohorts over time, heard admissions updates from each of the three schools, and learned more about the employment outlook for graduates of the law school and graduate school. Additionally Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez presented on the potential for expanding on-campus living opportunities. The Buildings and Grounds Committee discussed progress on a campus master facility plan and reviewed the 2017-18 capital budget.
In order to allow members to attend the College of Arts and Sciences’ Honors Convocation, the Friday meeting ended at 2:45 p.m., and a number of trustees stayed for the school’s 144th Commencement ceremony on May 7. Prior to the board meeting, many trustees had attended a dinner held on Thursday, May 5, at the Cooley House.