Previously part of the Academic Affairs and Campus Life Committee, this was the first meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee. Provost Mick Smyer presented a written report to the Committee summarizing student, faculty and staff engagement in high impact experiences.
The Committee passed a motion to approve the remainder of 2014-15 instructional staff appointments that were not finalized during the April 2014 Board of Trustees meeting.
President John Bravman then delivered a presentation on the establishment of a College of Management at Bucknell, which included a brief outline of the history of management education at Bucknell from its inception over a century ago, through the Board's consideration of the creation of a School of Management in 2008, up to recent Board retreat discussions. After offering a summary of recent accomplishments of the Management program, President Bravman suggested that creation of the College could be completed by 2016 and probably earlier. He also solicited the Committee for a series of questions that they would want answered in advance of recommending to the Board a final decision. He asked for these questions to be received by the end of November.
Michael Johnson-Cramer, director of the School of Management, followed with a presentation outlining recent developments in the School and offering a timeline for conversion of the School to a College, detailing the curricular, staffing, governance, budgetary, and fundraising elements involved. Michael also outlined the key elements of a transition plan, reviewing the 10 strategic questions guiding current planning.
Subsequent Committee discussion focused on issues relating to appropriate fundraising goals and the sequencing of fundraising and the creation of the College, the range of curricular foci being considered, internal University reactions to the prospect of a third college, and the distinctiveness of Bucknell's 'niche' in attracting students, faculty, and the relative advantages in competing with the University's cohort of cross-applicant institutions.
[back to top]
Campus Life Committee
Previously part of the Academic Affairs and Campus Life Committee, this was the first meeting of the Campus Life Committee. The Committee spent the majority of its time discussing how best to implement and offer distinctive, student-focused leadership programs and opportunities for all students. Staff from the Division of Student Affairs and the Athletics Department discussed examples of some programs already in place.
The Committee also discussed initiating leadership development opportunities through the residential experience. The Committee will review additional details regarding new residential programs facilitated by the addition of the new residence halls at a future meeting.
Development & External Relations Committee
After a brief discussion, the Committee reaffirmed its support for the annual Trustee day of giving, which last year raised nearly $1.7 million from more than 2,800 donors.
Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations Scott Rosevear updated the Committee on the WE DO Campaign, which has raised more than $325 million. Scott reported on the success of the Campaign roadshows, and shared that the Campaign is on pace to reach its half-billion dollar goal.
Several of Scott's staff gave brief overviews of the main areas of DAR, including: Alumni Relations; the Career Development Center; Donor & Volunteer Relations; and the Office of Parents Fund & Family Programs.
Interim Vice President for Communications Andy Hirsch talked with the Committee about the new bucknell.edu website, and plans for future usability testing that may inform changes to certain aspects of the site's navigation and functionality.
Associate Vice President for Finance Dennis Swank reviewed with the Committee the FY14 operating budget, which resulted in a $5.3 million operating surplus. The primary driver of the surplus was higher than budgeted student enrollments. The Committee approved a motion to allocate $3 million of the surplus to support the WE DO Campaign, with the remainder going to quasi-endowment. Dennis also discussed with the Committee the FY15 budget. Enrollment is again likely to exceed 3,400 students, while departmental operating budgets continue to be well managed.
Vice President for Finance & Administration Dave Surgala talked with the Committee about FY16, and some of the known challenges expected during the FY16 budget process, including the University's inability to raise the comprehensive fee above expected expense increases, the costs associated with the expansion of the faculty and staff, and the expenses associated with the new residence halls and commons building.
Associate Vice President of Human Resources Pierre Joanis updated the Committee on health care initiatives and reported that, while very early in this process, the move to self-funding appears to be benefiting Bucknell with 2014 costs about even with 2013 costs, compared to an average annual increase of 7.65 percent over the prior five years.
The Committee approved a motion to move forward with the restoration of the Carnegie Building at a cost not to exceed $7.9 million.
The independent financial advisory firm Public Financial Management presented on the current debt market and Bucknell's financial position. Bucknell has a conservative debt profile, and has the capacity to take on additional debt. With long-term borrowing rates at historic lows, the Committee asked that the University develop several scenarios reflecting potential strategic uses for debt.
The Committee then met in executive session where Dave reported that the second iteration of the Faculty Total Compensation Study will soon begin.
The Investments Committee conducted an in-depth review of the investment performance of the endowment fund for FY14. The 15.4 percent return enabled the total fund to achieve the milestone of surpassing three-quarters of a billion dollars, finishing the fiscal year at $750.9 million.
Taking advantage of the recent market turmoil, the Committee decided to slightly increase US equity market exposure.
The Committee also reviewed the role of hedge funds in the portfolio, focusing on their ability to provide diversification of overall portfolio risk, and closely monitoring fees and expenses.
Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Committee
The Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Committee reviewed the June 30, 2014, financial statement audit with the University's independent auditors, KPMG LLP. Internal audit also provided the Committee with a summary of recent internal audit projects and recommendations. L&IT staff outlined cyber security initiatives within the enterprise risk management framework at Bucknell.
In addition, General Counsel Amy Foerster provided an update regarding litigation and administrative claims, as well as certain regulatory developments.
Office of the President