At this meeting, the board took the following actions:.
Academic Affairs and Campus Life Committee
Provost Mick Smyer reviewed for the committee the learning goals adopted by the faculty in 2008. Bucknell's alignment with these goals will be central to the success of the Middle States self-assessment and re-accreditation process we are undergoing through 2014.
Provost Smyer updated the committee on the ways in which the University is implementing recommendations to improve campus climate and enhance student engagement. He also highlighted faculty work on GIS and digital technology, the expanding leadership development programming in Student Affairs, and the growing Geisinger-Bucknell collaboration.
Athletics Director John Hardt reported on the controls in place at Bucknell to prevent situations like the recent Penn State scandal. He also reported that the Department of Athletics and Recreation staff is working to increase the healthy options and experiences available to students.
Associate Provost for Diversity Bridget Newell reported on recent initiatives to improve diversity on campus, including the filling of several related staff positions and recruitment efforts underway for a Director of Disability Services, a Senior Associate Director of Admissions and an Assistant Director of Admissions for multicultural students. She also reported that the President's Council on Diversity continues to meet to develop recommendations to strengthen Bucknell's capacity to recruit and retain outstanding and diverse faculty, staff and students.
Dean of Students Susan Lantz updated the committee on work that continues to follow-up on the campus climate report, including efforts in fraternity and sorority affairs, student leadership development and the learning collaborative on high-risk drinking.
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Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
The committee reviewed a number of annual audit reports and met independently with external audit firm KPMG and Director of Internal Audit Bob Hoster. Grant Thornton, the external firm assisting Bucknell in creating an Enterprise Risk Management process, led a committee discussion on the importance of an embedded risk management culture for every organization.
General Counsel Amy Foerster gave a detailed report on litigation and regulatory topics. Grant Thornton reported on the status of its Enterprise Risk Management project. The full board will receive a comprehensive report at the April board meeting.
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Development and External Relations Committee
The committee discussed the progress on the campaign and year-to-date fundraising results, the full list of campaign volunteers now secured to drive campaign momentum and the upcoming WE DO tours, focusing on the first event, which is being held Feb. 23 in San Francisco.
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Scott Rosevear discussed his organizational chart and welcomed Cindy Belknap, the new Executive Director of Donor and Volunteer Relations and Advancement Information Services.
Parents Board President Kathy LaPoint P'14 and P'17 and Alumni Board President Katie Malague '94 updated the committee on the work of their respective boards, including enhancing the Volunteer Leadership Summit. The Parents and Alumni Association Board Subcommittee is focusing on increasing collaboration between the parent and alumni boards and bringing together the more than 20 affinity groups that support the University.
Vice President for Communications and Community Relations Pete Mackey walked the committee through the demographic and geographic challenges facing Bucknell and described the communications strategies to help Bucknell meet these challenges in the years to come. He also discussed the website redesign getting underway now, with the new website to launch by 2014.
The committee determined that, in line with best-practice institutions, Bucknell must make unprecedented efforts to educate students in the power of giving back. Scott, Pete, Susan, and Bill Conley committed to working together on a plan to achieve this aim, starting with this fall's incoming class.
Finance Committee Report
The Finance Committee discussed continuing efforts to temper the rising comprehensive fee and decided on the comprehensive fee for the coming year. We will communicate those decisions to the parents of our students first and then inform campus.
The committee approved the administration's recommendation to set aside (A) slightly more this year than last for the compensation-merit and market-adjustment pool and (B) an additional amount for the associate professor and full professor ranks. These decisions will be communicated to the faculty shortly. We will communicate specifics about the board's compensation decisions shortly to the faculty.
The group spent considerable time discussing progress on the Faculty Total Compensation Study that the University is conducting, per previous agreement among shared governance committees. Other finance business included an approval to refinance $17.2 million of University debt to take advantage of lower interest rates and to move some treasury cash not currently invested in the endowment into the endowment fund.
Vice President for Library and Information Technology Param Bedi discussed the reallocation of resources to improve faculty and student support in areas such as GIS, video production and research.
The committee noted that there is fresh discussion in higher education of socially responsible investing. The committee charged the Investment Office with drafting language for consideration that would amend the Investment Committee Guidelines to address the University's commitment to reviewing responsible investment issues on a case-by-case basis.
As of December 31, 2012, Bucknell's endowment is approximately $625 million. This compares with approximately $570 million as of December 31, 2011.
Office of the President