May 20, 2024

Board of Trustees Adopts Budget, Discusses Strategic Plan

The Board of Trustees met on May 2 and 3 for their regular spring meeting.

The primary topic at the Board’s plenary meeting was a discussion of the seven themes that have emerged as important and distinctive focus areas through our current strategic planning process. Trustees spent time discussing the themes and envisioning Lewis & Clark in ten year’s time with regard to each theme. Their insights will be used to further develop the strategic plan, which is expected to be presented to the Board and approved in October. The Board was also updated about the ongoing Big Ideas solicitation process.

The Academic Affairs committee did a deep dive into the Teacher Pathways Program, which is L&C’s unique pathway to both a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in Teaching degrees in five years. The committee heard from faculty and students in the program and expressed great enthusiasm for this cross-college collaborative program. The Academic Affairs committee also heard a presentation about summer programming at all three schools. The Campus Life committee reviewed the College’s processes and programming related to drugs and alcohol, student conduct, sexual misconduct, and Title IX compliance. The Institutional Advancement Committee reviewed new Annual Fund giving initiatives, athletics fundraising progress and goals, and plans for strengthening and communicating Lewis & Clark’s marketing and branding. The Finance Committee closed out FY24 with an updated end-of-year forecast and a recommended FY25 budget.

The following resolutions were approved:

  • The Board established two new endowment funds to recognize and reward faculty and staff excellence. A lead gift from former Board Chair Stephanie Fowler MA ’97, along with recent bequests from the estates of Lorry Lokey and Peter H. Nilsen BA ’69 are being used to establish these funds.
  • The Board approved minor changes to the College’s policy regarding the use of unrestricted bequests. Under the revised policy, the first $100,000 of an unrestricted bequest may be used for the Annual Fund or for other strategic investments, with any amount over $100,000 deposited in the endowment.
  • The Board approved the FY25 operating budget. The approved budget provides for a small operating deficit in FY25, but a positive cash margin. Enrollment challenges in all three schools will require careful navigation through the next several years to bring revenue generation and expense structures in line.
  • The Board approved faculty emeriti status for five additional faculty members in the College of Arts and Science who recently announced their retirements. Professors Kellar Autumn, Aaron Beck, Susan Glosser, Ben Westervelt and Yueping Zhang are highly respected and long serving members of the faculty; their emeriti appointments were unanimously and enthusiastically approved.
  • The Board bestowed dean emerita status on Jennifer Johnson, who has served as Dean of the Law School since 2014. Dean Johnson will step down as dean in August.
  • The Board elected six new trustees, who will begin their terms at the October board meeting. The new trustees are Lynne Bulens P ’23, PG ’24; Brit Etzold BS ’81, P ’24; Hanako Imber B ’10; Adam Merino BA ’05; Anupam Narayan; and Bart Westcott II BA ’75.
  • Elizabeth “Libby” McCaslin was elected as Life Trustee. Libby has served faithfully and generously on the Board for eighteen years. Her final term ended at the May meeting.