Report from the Board of Trustees
Chaired by Brackett B. Denniston ’69, the Kenyon College Board of Trustees met in Gambier on Oct. 27-28. The board approved the design of two buildings near Lentz House: English Cottage, which includes office space for English Department faculty currently in Sunset Cottage, and a second building that will include two classrooms and offices for English Department faculty. The College is to identify funding for the projects and update the board at the April 2017 meeting. Approval of the English buildings does not indicate a decision on the long-term plans for Sunset Cottage. The board continues to study the future of the building, and it will review options by the April meeting or earlier.
In other construction updates, Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman announced that work on the newly named Wright Center in Mount Vernon will be completed by Thanksgiving. The Office for Community Partnerships will move in during December, and two classes are scheduled to meet in the building in the spring semester. The first phase of the Gambier village project is progressing on schedule and should be complete in June 2017.
The board also received updates on two new majors currently under consideration by the faculty: environmental studies and computer science. Professor of Biology Siobhan Fennessy, the Philip and Sheila Jordan Professor in Environmental Studies, and Robert Alexander, visiting professor of economics and environmental studies, reported on the proposed environmental studies major, while Professor of Mathematics Bob Milnikel discussed the work of the computer science task force.
Enrollment management consultants Hardwick Day gave a presentation to the board discussing demographic trends in the population and the growing need for resources to attract and retain an economically and ethnically diverse student body.
Heidi Hansen McCrory, vice president for college relations, updated the board on the quiet phase of the capital campaign, noting that this campaign will focus on strengthening the academic experience and increasing access through scholarships and financial aid.
Special guests India Amos ’17, Kelsey Hauser ’17, Sarah Naguib ’17 and Professor of Neuroscience Hewlet McFarlane described their Kenyon experiences to the board, underscoring the importance of the capital campaign. Amos, from Wheeling, West Virginia, is a double major in anthropology and modern languages and literatures and a writing intern in the Office of Communications. Last winter she spent a week in Washington, D.C., job-shadowing James Fleming '91 and Anna Bammerlin ’14 at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Naguib, a neuroscience major from New Albany, Ohio, participated in Professor McFarlane's research this summer together with Hauser, a neuroscience major from Ridgefield, Connecticut.
The board also received reports on Title IX policies and the investigation process from College staff and attorneys. The external review by Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger is complete, and the College expects to receive her report later this semester.
In other action, the board:
• Welcomed new parent trustee Susan Tomasky P’17; Knox County trustee Alexander Wright ’05; Mark C. Rosenthal ’73 H’98, chair of the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and Officers; Daniel J. Kramer P ’11, chair of the Kenyon Review Board of Trustees; Barrett A. Toan ’69 H’09, who served as a trustee from 2000-2006; Donna Bertolet Poseidon ’75 and Douglas Y. Wang ’78.
• Approved David W. Horvitz ’74 H’98 as an at-large trustee. Horvitz is the immediate past chair of the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and Officers and was a Kenyon trustee from 1988-2007, serving as the chair from 2002-2005.
• Approved memorial resolutions honoring former dean of admissions and financial aid John W. Anderson H’02 and director of career development Scott A. Layson, who both died this fall.
• Reviewed a forecast of the 2017-18 operating budget. A completed version of the budget will be approved during the February 2017 board meeting.
• Approved the promotion of Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Spiekerman to full professor.