To: Lafayette Campus Community
From: Daniel H. Weiss, President
Date: October 25, 2012
Following each Board of Trustees meeting, it has been my practice to provide a summary of Board actions to the faculty at its monthly meeting and to the administration through a similar forum. Since the timing of these meetings does not always accommodate punctual communication and these meetings do not include students, I plan to send a written summary of Board actions to our entire campus community following each Board meeting. These Board summaries will also be posted on the Board of Trustees website which can accessed from http://president.stage.lafayette.edu/.
At its fall meeting on Saturday, Oct. 20, the Board of Trustees continued its work on the important issues summarized below.
The Board received a report on the gifts made to the College since the last Board meeting in May: Don Morel’79 to support new initiatives in entrepreneurship and engineering, JB Reilly’83 undesignated, Bob Beane’58 to support financial aid, Nancy Lund’74 to support the Quad renovation, and Michael Heaney’86 undesignated. It was also announced that Trustee Jim Fisher’77 endowed an award in memory of Everett Glenn’15. In addition, five new estate gifts were announced: Richard Kruger’56 unrestricted, James Marcus’50 to support engineering, Louise Moore Pine to support financial aid and the Dixie Cup Company Collection Preservation and Development Fund in honor of Steven Wilde’78, Napolean Morneau’50 to support financial aid, and Francis Albus ’42 unrestricted.
The Board also received a full report on the steps the College is taking to reduce high-risk alcohol consumption among students and endorsed the College’s approach. This included a discussion on the newly formed Alcohol and Other Drug Standing Committee that will assess strategies, programs, and policies aimed at reducing high-risk drinking. The committee will look at new educational and outreach measures, student advocacy and peer education, and social programming, and will report back to the Board later this year. This effort is part of an on-going, proactive, long-standing commitment to address alcohol misuse and abuse on campus. These challenges are formidable and are experienced nation-wide. The Board remains committed to addressing the serious challenge of excessive alcohol consumption on our campus while providing students with a supportive environment in which to learn and grow.
The Board reaffirmed its commitment to the work being done by the Implementations and Assessment Group on Greek Life. IAGGL’s efforts are aimed at ensuring that the College’s current Greek organizations contribute positively to the quality of campus life and that their members meet the high expectations for personal conduct and academic achievement that the College has of every student. IAGGL will submit an interim report to the Board in January.
While reaffirming its commitment to IAGGL’s process and work, the Board also expressed a concern about the actions of unrecognized (or “underground”) organizations that undermine the ability of recognized Greek organizations to achieve their objectives as student organizations and may place the health and safety of students at risk. The Board has requested that the Administration work with the faculty and Student Government to formulate a policy concerning unauthorized organizations and to report back with its recommendations as soon as possible.
The Board endorsed an approach for a comprehensive Lafayette student experience that leverages our existing strengths as a residential, undergraduate college. The concept envisions a residential and educational experience that is designed for all students and is built in partnership with faculty to connect intellectual and personal development while intentionally offering opportunities for student learning across the four undergraduate years. It seeks to achieve a high level of synergy between the curricular and co-curricular aspects of the student educational experience, allowing for creative connections in all areas of student learning. The Board asked the Administration to work with students, faculty, staff and alumni to formulate a detailed plan to present to the Board by the end of this year.
Finally, the Board heard a presentation on the status of the Williams Arts Campus project. The College is evaluating options for moving forward in light of structural and geotechnical complications that relate to the (former) Case’s Tire parcel on North Third Street. The Board reaffirmed its commitment to this important project and authorized further analysis. We anticipate completing this analysis and, with input from the campus community and the City, completing the next phase of design by early spring.
I will update the community again after the January Board meeting.