Gallaudet Board of Trustees Spring 2017 Report

Gallaudet Board of Trustees Spring 2017 Report


Hello! I’m Greg Hlibok, member of the Gallaudet University
Board of Trustees. The May Board of Trustees meeting is
always special for Board members. We have the honor of celebrating
another successful academic year and sharing in special moments
with students and their families and friends during the Commencement activities. Congratulations to the Class of 2017! Thank you for choosing Gallaudet. It will always be your home. As President Cordano shared during her closing remarks
at the meeting, we are building on
a new wave of momentum under her leadership, where we are making great strides
as a university. We are closely examining
who we are and what our future will be. Along the way,
we are growing and learning from our daily experiences
on campus. On behalf of the Board,
we are thoroughly impressed by all the great work
that is being done. From 6th Street –
to diversity, equity, and inclusion – to the Bilingual Mission Task Force, this is truly an exciting time to be a part of
the Gallaudet community. Now, I will share a summary of the Spring 2017
Board of Trustees meeting. Dr. Caroline Kobek-Pezzarossi,
vice chair of the Faculty Senate, gave a presentation
on the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook. The first is related to
shared governance and was ultimately tabled
until the October meeting as more internal discussion
is needed on the topic. Second, an update to
the sabbatical leave policy was approved. The third action item was replacing the words
“sick leave” with “medical leave.” This was approved by the Board. The final action item, related to updating language
to the faculty-student relationship policy, was approved. Tenure was granted to: The Board had the privilege
of meeting five graduating students and learning more about their experiences
and challenges at Gallaudet, as well as discussing their future plans. The panel included Conrad Baer, Rosina Garcia,
Thinaja Nadarajah, Crystal Padilla, and Jimel Wright. It was enthusiastically noted that Rosina, a student intern
and Peer Health Advocate under the Health and Wellness Programs, wrote, and was awarded,
a $30,000 grant from the NCAA
(National Collegiate Athletic Association) for the university to expand
resources and support for drug and alcohol abuse, collaborating with Counseling
and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Athletics. The Trustees also learned that
the Office of Campus Activities won a grant to establish
a leadership honor society on campus. 114 students signed up and 17 students
have completed the process and were inducted. This committee was established
at the February 2017 Board meeting and is led by
Trustee Claudia Gordon. The committee is in the process of
developing a charge for the group and building upon groundwork from the previous Ad Hoc
Interim Diversity Committee, the University as a whole,
and the Diversity Strategy Team. The committee expects to have more
to report at the October meeting. The Board approved
the Fiscal Year 2018 budget which includes an operating budget
of $179.3 million, and a capital budget
of $12.5 million. The budget also includes a
$2 million contingency fund. In addition, there will be a tuition increasein the Fall of 2018
of three percent, and an average room rate increase
of three percent, as well. During that fiscal year,
it is the president’s discretion to award salary increases based on appropriation
and other considerations. Goldman Sachs representatives presented
a global financial market update as well as an update and review of
the University’s endowment performance. The value of the endowment fund
as of March 31 was $172.5 million. Goldman Sachs reported that 2017
has had a positive growth outlook for both the U.S. and global markets. They presented on the University’s
portfolio performance and the recommended
asset allocation changes, which the Board approved. Trustees had the opportunity to meet with
the new leadership of the Clerc Center, Marianne Belsky,
Interim Chief Academic Officer and Nicole Sutliffe,
Interim Chief Administrative Officer. Marianne and Nicole shared
that the initial verbal reports from the U.S. Department of Education
site monitoring visit were extremely positive
about the Clerc Center and improvements made
to both schools. The Clerc Center is now beginning
a two-year long process for a self-study
for accreditation purposes. Vice Chair Claire Bugen praised the quality of the Clerc Center’s
resource journal, Odyssey, which is used by professionals
and families of deaf students all over the country. In addition,
in the upcoming year, the Clerc Center will be releasing
a new app for parents to help guide them through the
Individual Education Plan (IEP) process for their child or children and to support them navigating meetings
with school administrators or their child’s teacher. Two longtime Board members,
Dr. Tom Humphries and Dr. Harvey Goodstein, have now concluded their terms,
each after serving 12 years. Formal proclamations were read
for both of them in front of the full Board and members of
the University community. We thank them for their wisdom, guidance,
and tremendous contributions to the Board and to the University. It was also shared
that Chair Tiffany Williams is now in her fourth and final term
on the Board. The Board will continue its work
throughout the summer during our annual retreat
with University leaders. We all look forward to
being back on campus for the October meeting. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *