Bucknell University

April 26 - 28, 2012
President's Summary
Board of Trustees Spring Meeting

Academic Affairs and Campus Life Committee
Development and External Relations Committee
Finance Committee
Investments Committee

Academic Affairs and Campus Life Committee

The Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee of the board recommended, and at this meeting the board approved, the recommendations for faculty promotion and tenure. The board promoted 14 faculty to associate professor and 12 to full professor, effective July 1. On Friday night, we were pleased to host an event honoring these faculty for these pivotal achievements, and appreciate the many family members and colleagues who shared in honoring these career milestones.

The committee recommended and the board approved all recommended changes in academic personnel:

  • Instructional staff appointments
  • Recommendations for tenure
  • Recommendations for promotion
  • Sabbatical leaves for 2012-2013
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Retirements
  • Separations

Athletics Director John Hardt shared with the committee the appointment of the new head coach for women's basketball, Aaron Roussell, and the retirement of long-time head baseball coach Gene Depew after 31 seasons with Bucknell. A search for a new head baseball coach will begin shortly.

Dean Lantz gave an update on the Dartmouth Cooperative, an effort Bucknell has joined with 31 other colleges and universities to decrease problematic drinking. The group has thus far studied such issues as the individual problem drinker and environmental factors that contribute to problem drinking by groups of students. A number of interventions have been implemented across the campuses, and the campuses are monitoring their effectiveness so they can learn from each other. The next phase of the program will include each institution reviewing its own policies and procedures related to drinking and discussing those with the collaborative.

Provost Mick Smyer gave an update on Middle States, particularly the role of the trustee's liaisons, and noted that we are on-track in this critically important decennial re-accreditation process. He updated the committee on progress toward Academic West and repurposing and renovations of existing space in Marts, Vaughn Literature, and Coleman Halls that will accompany the transition of some faculty into the new building. He thanked Associate Provosts Rice and Midkiff and Deans Buffinton and Shields and the associate deans for their work on planning these changes. He then provided a report on hiring for this past year, noting that of 17 faculty searches, 11 resulted in hiring our first-choice candidates.

The committee discussed diversity at Bucknell, including how we are doing in recruiting diverse students and faculty. Dean Lantz updated the board on a series of recent bias-related harassment incidents on campus that have affected students, faculty, and staff. Many of these incidents are under investigation by Bucknell's Office of Public Safety, and we continue to follow our policies and procedures for such matters. Across academic and students affairs, we are engaging in a variety of interventions to communicate our shared values as a community and to prevent further incidents of harassment.

Dean Lantz then reported on the emerging partnership with Geisinger and Evangelical to provide student health services on campus, about which I communicated to campus last week.

Vice President for Library and Information Technology Param Bedi shared with the committee the University's work on the Open Access public database to provide unrestricted access to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles by Bucknell faculty. Open Access makes faculty scholarship available for free if faculty choose to allow it after the scholarship is peer-reviewed and published in traditional journals. Bucknell is one of only 15 institutions in the U.S. to adopt Open Access. Our thanks to the faculty for their positive response to this means of sharing their scholarship widely.

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Development and External Relations Committee

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Scott Rosevear provided an update on fundraising this academic year and the move of some 60 DAR staff to new offices in the former post office building. He also reported that only three percent of the class of 2011 classified themselves as "without a job" after nine months, a credit to them, the preparation they receive at the University, and their work with the Career Development Center.

Scott provided an update on campaign planning and logistics for the campaign launch, the roadshow events to be held in cities across the country, the development of the campaign case, and the formation of a campaign volunteer structure.

Vice President for Communications and Community Relations Pete Mackey then discussed with the committee the results of a recent survey of Bucknell parents, which suggests they are supportive of Bucknell and willing to help in new ways.

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Finance Committee Report

Following a recommendation by the Finance Committee, the board approved the fiscal 2013 budget. Thanks to all departments and programs for carefully managing your budgets. Vice President for Finance and Administration Dave Surgala reported that we will soon be issuing a Request for Proposals to evaluate the standing of our faculty salaries relative to peer institutions in substantive detail by such factors as rank, years in service and more. This evaluation of a highly complex set of information will provide important detail to the board in its continued determination to keep Bucknell salaries competitive with peer institutions.

The committee took note that with the recent re-opening of the renovated DeWitt Building, Bucknell had leveraged approximately $20 million of state and federal government grants with $6 million of University resources to make investments totaling $26 million in Lewisburg's downtown, an important contributor to the experience of our students and the livability of our community. Trustee Alan Walker, who currently serves as Pennsylvania's Secretary of Commerce, shared his perspective that Lewisburg and Union County now serve as a model at the state level for using strategic planning to invest in the future of small communities.

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Investments Committee

As of March 31, 2012, Bucknell's endowment was $599.2 million. This brings the endowment nearly to where it stood prior to the start of the global fiscal crisis in late 2008. The committee was pleased to receive a presentation from the long-established Student Managed Investment Fund class, which gives students the opportunity to learn about how markets work and to apply what they learn by investing a small but meaningful pool of real endowment dollars, with which they have had notable success.

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Office of the President
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837