June 9, 2010 Campus Community Gary Abramson, Chair, Board of Trustees

June 9, 2010
Campus Community
Gary Abramson, Chair, Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees Spring 2010 Meeting
The American University Board of Trustees held its spring 2010 meeting on Thursday, May 13 and
Friday, May 14 on the AU campus. On May 13, meetings were held for the following committees:
Academic Affairs; Alumni Affairs and Development; Athletics; Campus Life; Communication;
Finance and Investment; and Trusteeship. The full board met on May 14.
Prior to the full board meeting, a Thursday night reception was held at the home of Mary
Weinmann, friend, neighbor, and university benefactor. On Friday morning, a ribbon-cutting was
held to symbolically “open” the new School of International Service building, which will be in full
operation for fall semester 2010.
On a motion made and seconded, the board approved the appointment of new trustees Judge
Gerald Bruce Lee and Peter L. Scher, and Ronald Frey as student trustee; their terms begin with the
September meeting. Peter Starr, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, gave a presentation of the
college and its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
President Kerwin reported the university ended the fiscal year in sound condition with a budget
surplus. For the coming year, the retention is strong, fall enrollment projections solid, and AU is on
track to meet its tuition revenue objectives. We retained a budget target of 1500 new freshmen
students but reduced the admit rate by nearly 10 percentage points to 43 percent – the most
selective ever. Enrolling students have a 3.81 GPA and 1278 SAT average. The Strategic Plan
implementation is going well, with a full board update to be provided at the September meeting.
President Kerwin also announced a generous contribution from alumnus trustee Gary Cohn of $1
million to be used for scholarships and an additional $500,000 for the Kogod School of Business.
The board formally approved the revised American University Faculty Manual, after receiving a
report from the Academic Affairs Committee. The new manual was approved by 82 percent of the
faculty and 100 percent of the Faculty Senate; congratulations were given to Faculty Senate leaders
and trustees Stephen Silvia and Lyn Stallings for their considerable efforts over the past 20 months
on this important project. Two new degree programs were also presented to the full board and
approved – Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics; and Master’s of Science in
Sustainability Management.
The Alumni Affairs and Development Committee reported that the goal for the Campaign for
AnewAU has been met, with $201.8 million raised to date. A campus celebration will be planned to
mark this achievement at the October President’s Circle Dinner. Upon committee
recommendation, the full board approved a resolution for the Department of Chemistry in the
College of Arts and Sciences to expand the research activities as defined by the Isbell Fund some 26
years ago.
The Athletics Committee report cited the ongoing and impressive academic achievements of AU
athletes and teams; and the new charter of the now “standing committee” was forwarded by the
Trusteeship Committee, voted on and approved. The Campus Life Committee discussed its meeting
with Campus Life officials and university administrators regarding student behavior issues and the
campus plan process. While the number of complaints is not large when compared to other
universities, AU is committed to reduce this issue even more. This summer, language in the Student
Code of Conduct is being expanded to empower university officials to better address off-campus
behavior issues and additional efforts are being designed for a stronger response to off-campus
complaints. The Communication Committee reported that AU’s new branding concept will be
presented at the September meeting – adding that it is bold, distinctive, and much anticipated.
Echoing President Kerwin’s report the Finance and Investment Committee confirmed that AU will
end FY2010 with a slight budget surplus; and that a Student Managed Investment Fund was being
created for Kogod students to actively participate in financial markets as part of their “real life
learning.” The goal is to begin with an initial fund of $250,000 and grow it to $1 million.
In closing, resolutions were voted and approved to recognize the Board service of Fuad El-Hibri
from 2004 to 2010; of Seth Cutter as student trustee from 2009-2010; and Stephen Silvia as faculty
trustee from 2008-2010. And as part of an offering from the Washington-Baltimore Conference of
the United Methodist Church, a check for $10,500 was presented to AU for use by a student to
participate in the WINS (Washington Internships for Native Students) program.
The next meeting of the Board will be September 23-24, 2010.