An e mail was sent to the campus community on February 20, 2013 by the chair of the Board of Trustees, Benjamin Soukup, with updates on the recent Board of Trustees meeting.
Dear Campus Community:
I was eagerly anticipating my trip to Kendall Green for the Board of Trustees' meeting February 13 to 15, addressing the many important matters at hand in the operations of the University, learning about recent developments on campus and, of course, meeting with members of the Gallaudet community. I was also looking forward to joining my colleagues, former board chairs Philip Bravin, Glenn Anderson, and Pamela Young-Holmes, for a February 13 discussion on the lasting impact the Deaf President Now movement of 1988 has made on the lives of deaf people.
Unfortunately, I was not able to make the trip; however, the board's vice chair, Dr. Harvey Goodstein, graciously agreed to step in and lead the meeting in my absence, for which I am very grateful. Thanks to the many advances in technology that we enjoy today, I was able to participate in many of the proceedings via video conferencing.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the highlights of the trustees' business meeting and the progress the University is making. First, the board approved amendments to the University Faculty Guidelines in three areas: Faculty Guidelines policies approved during an academic year shall apply to all faculty the next academic year unless otherwise indicated in the approved policy; expectations for full-time regular faculty teaching online courses may be different from those of classroom courses, on the written agreement of the faculty member, department chair, and dean; and a classroom discourse observation component will be implemented, effective immediately, in addition to the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview, in evaluating faculty sign language skills. The board also passed an Anti-Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure that reemphasizes Gallaudet's commitment to providing equal opportunity to everyone in the campus community, and sets forth procedures for any member of the community who believes he or she has been discriminated against to follow in resolving the complaint.
The board was pleased to learn from the Office of Development, Alumni, and International Relations that $2.6 million in new gifts and pledges has been taken in toward the office's $3 million goal for the year. The board also was informed that the University's endowment at the end of 2012 was $163.3 million, an increase of approximately $7 million over the past year. The trustees were impressed with a report from the Division of Administration and Finance that the University realized a significant savings over the past year, due in part to energy savings from the Johnson Controls initiative.
The trustees also would like to commend the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-Study Steering Committee for compiling an impressive report, an important milestone in Gallaudet's 10-year reaccreditation process by MSCHE.
We were honored by the visit of three noted guests: Annette Reichman, director/liaison in the Office of Special Institutions at the U.S. Department of Education and an alumna of our university, and Jennifer Waits and Wintta Woldemariam, staff members in the Washington, D.C. office of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a congressional member of our Board of Trustees.
The trustees also attended a very interesting presentation by renowned political activist Dr. Angela Davis, whose visit to campus was hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as one of the University's events celebrating Black History Month.
On behalf of the board, I would like to extend best wishes to everyone in the Gallaudet community. The trustees look forward to seeing you again on campus at our May meeting and taking part in the University's 144th Commencement exercises on Friday, May 17, when we award graduates of the Class of 2013 their diplomas for the successful completion of their education from this outstanding university.
Benjamin J. Soukup
Posted: 20 Feb 2013