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Recent Memorandum:

To:         The College Community
From:    Carl Strikwerda, President
Date:     February 6, 2013
RE:        Winter 2013 Board of Trustees Summary         

Dear Fellow Members of the Elizabethtown College Campus Community:

I am pleased to provide you with a brief report on the recent meeting of the Board of Trustees of Elizabethtown College, held January 31-February 2, 2013 here on campus. 

The highlight of the meeting was the inaugural "Inside E-town" event on Friday, Feb. 1. Trustees, the Alumni Council President, and a number of Leadership Council members ventured "Inside the Classroom", "Inside Co-curricular Learning" and "Inside Sports, Fitness and Wellness" where they joined our students and faculty in a variety of classes, learned about the programs that support and encourage our students through the Center for Student Involvement, and joined our athletics, campus recreation and wellness staff for a tour of our fitness, wellness and athletic facilities.

Over lunch, faculty and students involved in the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking shared how the Center's programs promote the College's mission in global awareness and peace studies. At dinners on both Thursday and Friday night, faculty and students shared their experiences with the trustees.  Students in our new Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships Program highlighted academic excellence on Thursday, while musical contributions from the Fine and Performing Arts Department made the arts a special focus on Friday.

We hope to use future "Inside E-town" events to give more alumni, parents, and community leaders a sense of what we do here that's special and to point out our need for more support for students, academic programs and recreational facilities.  The trustees gave us great advice on how to make "Inside E-town" even more enriching.

Highlights of topics considered by various Board committees were the following:

  • Academic Affairs Committee heard a report on our progress in implementing Real-world Learning and recommended a change of name for the Center for Continuing Education and Distance Learning. The Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the Edward R. Murphy Center for Continuing Education was approved by the Board at its business meeting on Saturday. The committee also discussed a proposal for a new master's degree in Strategic Leadership to be offered through the School.
  • Finance Committee approved the negotiation of a change in the interest rate on some of the College’s debt in order to fix the rate at a lower amount and save the College about $600,000 net over the next 5 years. In addition, after carefully considering the higher education CPI and the need to make investments in our facilities and programs, the Finance Committee recommended increasing our comprehensive fee by 4.4 % for the 2013-14 academic year.
  • Trusteeship Committee reviewed candidates for four vacancies that will open up on the Board at the end of the current academic year and also began planning for a new Trustee Council which will embrace all former trustees. After their service on the Board, former trustees remain some of our strongest potential supporters and dear friends. The Trustee Council will provide a way to keep former trustees involved.

At its Business meeting on Saturday, the Board heard from Provost Traverso about our progress in implementing the Strategic Plan. The same Strategic Plan update will also be provided to the campus community this week. Dean of Students, Marianne Calenda, shared plans for a new athletic and recreational facility that we are calling a "Sports, Fitness, and Wellness Center," and David Beidleman, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, presented plans for a possible fundraising campaign. The full Board also approved the recommendations for the "School of Continuing and Professional Studies" along with the recommended comprehensive fee increase.

Faculty Assembly, Executive Committee members, the Student Senate president, an Etownian editor, and the Alumni Council President were all observers at the Board meeting.

Thank you to everyone on the staff, as well as the many faculty and students, who helped make "Inside E-town" and the Board meeting a great success. I am always proud that Elizabethtown College is a special place of learning and growing, and even more so when trustees and alumni recognize our community's strengths and promise.

Best wishes for a continued productive semester,
Carl J. Strikwerda

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