MEMORANDUM March 12, 2010 TO: Campus Community FROM: Gary Abramson, Chair, Board of Trustees SUBJECT: Board of Trustees Winter 2010 Meeting Summary ________________________________________ The American University Board of Trustees held its winter 2010 meeting on Thursday, February 18 and Friday, February 19 on the AU campus. On February 18, meetings were held for the following committees: Academic Affairs; Alumni Affairs and Development; Athletics; Audit; Campus Life; Communication; Finance and Investment; and Trusteeship. The full board met on February 19. Major business conducted at the full board meeting and coming out of the committees included the approval of new trustee candidates who will now be forwarded to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church for final approval; they included student trustee and first year law student Ronald Louis Frey; faculty trustee and Faculty Senate Vice Chair Leigh Riddick. Eight trustees were re-elected as the class of 2010 – Gary Abramson; Gina Adams; Gary Cohn; Pamela Deese; Marc Duber; Dan Gasby; Thomas Gottschalk; and Alan Meltzer. Patricia Aufderheide was approved as University Professor in the School of Communication. Honorary degrees were approved for five commencement speaker nominees; as is tradition, the full list of speakers for the May commencement will be announced in late March. The Finance and Investment committee reported that AU’s endowment weathered the recent financial storm and reported a 33% return on investment for 2009; the endowment now stands at $375 million. The third quarter FY 2010 budget report was received, with revenues strong in most categories and no surprises in unusual expenses. Vice President of Finance and Treasurer Don Myers led the plenary session discussion of AU’s campus planning efforts now underway. Discussions are being held with community members and on campus constituencies, with updates and materials provided via Web posting. The plan is based on the objectives established in the new strategic plan; priority projects taking shape include increased on-campus housing for up to 1,000 students, and supporting amenities such as athletics, dining and recreational facilities; a new home for the law school; improved science facilities; and more space for faculty and administrative staff. Including the law school, the desired student enrollment projection could add another 10% to the current population – the bulk of those being law and graduate students. Regarding sites – two prime sites are development of the Nebraska Parking Lot and further development of the Tenley Campus (as the possible home of the law school). Ongoing efforts will be to refine the focus of the plan’s priorities and assess the project costs. Among other topics, President Kerwin reported on the work of the strategic plan measurement team which has chosen “tracking software” to note the plan’s progress. He also indicated that two major gifts have been received, one from the Crown Prince of Bahrain. The fall 2010 enrollment projections look solid – with some 400 early decision enrollees admitted. For the first time in AU history, the admit rate will fall below 50% -- indicating the increasing selectivity of AU admissions and the higher enrollment standards. President Kerwin said the steady gains in both applications and enrollments is almost counter intuitive given the recent state of the economy and the situation faced by peer institutions; nevertheless, a number of initiatives have contributed to AU’s recent success, including expanded regional outreach; increases in campus visit opportunities; better use of technology; strategic use of financial aid/merit aid; and the admissions evaluation process. Upon recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee, resolutions were made and approved and which established a new Master of Arts in Political Communication; Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology; and Doctor of Philosophy in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience. From the Alumni Affairs and Development Committee -- the “campaign for AnewAU” stands at $197.3 million as of January 31; remains on track for completion by April 30, 2010; and plans are to celebrate the campaign’s completion at the October President’s Circle Dinner. Once completed, there are no current plans for a large comprehensive campaign but instead, the focus will be on targeted campaigns – such as the ones envisioned for the School of Communication, Washington College of Law, and WAMU 88.5. Highlights from athletics included the overall 3.3 fall GPA for AU student athletes, and the success of the women’s basketball team inspires hope of post season tournament play. The board also approved the amendment to the bylaws which transitioned the Athletics Committee’s status from “ad hoc” to “standing.” The Campus Life Committee reported on strategies to mitigate risky behaviors; and the Communications Committee reported on the status of the branding project. The meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m. The next meeting will be May 13 and May 14.