MEMORANDUM March 6, 2014 TO: Campus Community FROM: Jeffrey A. Sine, Chairman, Board of Trustees SUBJECT: Board of Trustees Winter 2014 Meeting Summary _____________________________________________ The American University Board of Trustees held its winter meeting on campus in late February, and a summary of meeting highlights follows. Committee meetings were held on Thursday, February 20, and the full board met on Friday, February 21. In addition to receiving reports from the president, provost, vice presidents, campus representatives, and nine board committees, the trustees heard a presentation and participated in a discussion of crisis management and the resulting communications and reputation challenges such events pose; the presentation was led by Lawrence Hincker, associate vice president for university relations at Virginia Tech, and Teresa Flannery, AU’s vice president of communication. Mr. Hincker discussed an array of issues that have affected universities nationwide, including his own institution; Vice President Flannery outlined two “real life” examples that affected AU, including the alleged “gunman on campus” incident from last December. She reviewed actions taken and lessons learned as AU’s public safety and communications units teamed to implement a rapid response to inform the AU community and ensure its well being. A number of actions worth noting came out of the business conducted at the February meeting. This included the reappointment of five trustees as members of the Class of 2017—Patrick Butler, Hani Farsi, Charles Lydecker, Robyn Mathias, and Regina Muehlhauser. Also voted and approved by the AU board are Lacey Wootton, as nonvoting faculty trustee for the Class of 2016, and Joe Ste. Marie, as nonvoting student trustee for the Class of 2015. Ms. Wootton is the current vice chair of the Faculty Senate, and Mr. Ste. Marie is the current student trustee-elect. With regret, the board accepted the resignation of Daniel Gasby, who stepped down after nine years of trustee service. The board passed a resolution thanking Mr. Gasby for his work on behalf of AU, and also passed a resolution to commemorate the lifelong work and substantial achievements of former chief financial officer, vice president and treasurer Don Myers. The board approved actions coming out of the Academic Affairs Committee, which included accepting the changes to the faculty manual (based on the recommendations from the Faculty Senate); and approved the creation of new degree programs effective for fall 2014, including a 2 Master of Arts in Game Design (offered jointly by the School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences); a Master of Public Administration and Policy (School of Public Affairs); Master of Science in Terrorism and Homeland Security (School of Public Affairs); and Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience (College of Arts and Science). In late March, we look forward to the three-day visit by the Middle States reaccreditation team of peer reviewers, led by Syracuse vice chancellor and provost Eric Spina; the site review culminates some two years of work by an AU team assembled to research, write, publicly review, and submit the self-study. The site review and reaccreditation process is a solid opportunity to assess where AU is, what we are doing well, and what we might improve upon going forward. President Kerwin will summarize outcomes and communicate to campus after the visit concludes. In April, the board will again host a forum in conjunction with the President’s Office, to enable campus constituencies to engage the board leadership and AU president in an open discussion of various issues. Information on the specific time, date, and venue is forthcoming. Let me know of any questions you might have regarding anything that is reported here or on board business in general. You may reach me [email protected] The next board meeting will be May 15 and May 16.