October 7, 2010 TO: Campus Community FROM: Gary M. Abramson, Chairman, Board of Trustees SUBJECT: Board of Trustees Fall 2010 Retreat and Meeting Summary and Notification of Periodic Comprehensive Assessment of President Neil Kerwin ________________________________________ The American University Board of Trustees held its fall 2010 retreat and meeting on Thursday, September 23, and Friday, September 24, on the AU campus. At the September 23 retreat, President Kerwin reported on the implementation of the strategic plan (which is now online for campus community review, https://www1.american.edu/strategicplan/pdf/docs/September-27-2010-SP-Update.pdf, my.american.edu login required); executive director of communications and marketing Terry Flannery reported on AU’s branding (KNOW/WONK) project; and director of sustainability Chris O’Brien reported on AU’s green initiatives and climate commitment. The Board of Trustees also initiated the periodic comprehensive assessment of President Kerwin. The purpose of the assessment is to give constructive feedback to the president and to provide the board with insight that will improve its performance. The Board of Trustees will use a process recommended by the board’s Special Committee on Governance and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) that includes interviews with various members of the university community. Both individual and group interviews will be conducted. The AU community at large may also participate by sending a confidential e-mail to the AGB consultant we have engaged to facilitate this process, Kenneth Shaw ([email protected]). Both participant comments and the final report will be kept confidential. On Thursday evening, September 23, the trustees joined 250 AU and School of International Service alumni and friends for the dedication of the SIS building, with speakers including SIS alumni David Gregory and Esther Benjamin, project architect William McDonough, SIS dean Louis Goodman, President Kerwin, and me. Business conducted at the full board meeting on September 24 and coming out of the committees was as follows: Academic Affairs Committee chair Bishop John Schol presented resolutions for board approval to establish the bachelor of science in accounting program in the Kogod School of Business and the master of laws in advocacy program in the Washington College of Law. Both were approved. He also reported on the announced retirements (effective May 2011) of Kogod dean Dick Durand and Washington Semester Program dean David Brown; and the death of former trustee, board chair, and university friend Bishop James K. Mathews. Alumni Affairs and Development Committee chair Pat Butler reported that the Campaign for AnewAU has raised $206 million and will be celebrated at the President’s Circle Dinner on October 21 in Bender Arena. The Athletics Committee report was delivered by director of athletics Keith Gill, who cited the impressive academic achievements of AU athletes⎯with 74 percent earning a 3.0 GPA or higher during fall semester and 80 percent earning a 3.0 GPA or higher during the spring. He also reported on the new CBS College Sports television contract with the Patriot League. The Audit Committee report was delivered by vice president of finance and treasurer Don Myers, who reported on the results of the committee’s July 27 meeting; Price Waterhouse Coopers gave an “unqualified opinion” with no adjustments to AU’s audit report for FY 2010 and no material weaknesses. Campus Life Committee chair Pam Deese reported on retention and AU’s recent (record) success, changes in the student conduct code, and an upcoming review of summer student orientation. Communications Committee chair David Drobis referenced Dr. Flannery’s KNOW/WONK marketing campaign report and the unit’s aggressive media placement efforts, citing that one-fourth of AU’s media hits are faculty. Vice President Don Myers provided an update on the status of the campus plan, which will be filed later this year. Efforts to engage the community are ongoing, and designs are beginning to emerge for the East Campus and Nebraska Hall addition housing projects. And the two-year budget process⎯chaired by Provost Scott Bass and Vice President Myers⎯will begin this fall. The plenary focused on the AU library was led by university librarian Bill Mayer, who gave a thought-provoking presentation on the modern library and patterns of use, design, technology, and the role of books⎯at AU and elsewhere. The meeting adjourned at 1 p.m. The next board meeting will be Thursday, November 18, and Friday, November 19.