Highlights From the February Board of Trustees Meeting
The Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees held its annual February meeting last Thursday and Friday, February 17 and 18. Trustees approved major investments in the future of the Lewis & Clark campus, including:
- Renovation of Stewart and Odell residence halls. This project is expected to include renovation of rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and lounges; air conditioning and air quality improvements; replacement of windows, lighting, and plumbing systems; accessibility improvements; and new office space for Campus Living across from the newly renovated student center. Work is expected to begin in January 2023 and be completed by the beginning of fall semester 2023. This is the second step, after renovation of the student center, towards accomplishing the “Heart of the Campus” envisioned in our Campus Facilities Master Plan. This project will be funded from the bonds issued in 2020.
- Renovation of the Huston Sports Complex. The renovated complex will better meet the needs of students and to accommodate the newly added varsity sports of women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer. This project will include the construction of permanent restrooms to replace the existing portable facilities and will replace the natural turf with artificial turf for both the baseball and softball fields. Replacement of the fields will allow for an integrated soccer and lacrosse practice field within the baseball field. Work is expected to be completed by summer 2023, and will be funded through a combination of philanthropic gifts, debt funds, and the annual capital budget.
- Replacement of the institution’s aging fiber optic network infrastructure. This much needed project, paid for by $1.5 million of the college’s annual capital budget, will replace a network that was built in the early 1990s and which supports our internet, email, telephone, printing, and computer systems.
- Construction of a new parking lot on the graduate school campus. The lot, with a new entrance from S. Palatine Hill Road, is expected to add 82 parking spots. This project was originally approved in 2020, but was deferred due to COVID. Construction is anticipated this summer.
- Numerous other deferred maintenance projects and upgrades. These projects include: a new roof for Evans Music Center; new siding for Fir Acres Theatre; renovation of the Fir Acres dressing rooms to provide ADA accessibility; a new filtration system for the Zehnbtbauer swimming pool; repairs to the South Chapel roof; permanent relocation of the mail room to the lower level of McAfee; improvements to the HVAC system in Rogers Hall; and A/V upgrades to law school classrooms. In addition, the roof of Agnes Flanagan Chapel, which was damaged by the 2021 ice storm, will be replaced this summer with funding from insurance proceeds.
These significant investments in the institution’s infrastructure follow two years during which most projects were deferred due to COVID-related budget constraints, and demonstrate the Board’s commitment to the future of the campus.
In addition, over the course of the two days of meetings, board committees held detailed conversations regarding the new Center for Social Change and Community Engagement, the use of data in CAS admissions, campaign progress, and our continued management of COVID on campus. At the full board meeting on Friday afternoon, the board was provided a detailed presentation regarding the campus’s Climate Action Plan and its impact on operations and potential future capital investments. The board also reviewed the institution’s policy on academic freedom and responsibility and discussed the continued importance of this foundational principle to colleges and universities.
The board approved emeritus faculty appointments for retiring faculty members Carmen Knudson-Martin of the graduate school, Susan Mandiberg of the law school, and Art O’Sullivan of the undergraduate school. Congratulations to our faculty colleagues retiring at the end of the school year!
Finally, the board approved tuition rates for the law and graduate schools for the 2022–23 academic year. The new rates reflect a 3.5 percent increase at the law school and a 3 percent increase at the graduate school.