Report from the Board of Trustees
In its meeting last week in Santa Monica, California, the Kenyon College Board of Trustees approved the 2018–19 fiscal year operating budget of $151,933,000, which includes increases in financial aid, tuition and fees, and employee wages.
In addition to reviewing the budget, Board discussion centered on the first priority of the Kenyon 2020 strategic plan: “Focus on an integrated, comprehensive student experience aimed at launching students to post-graduate success.” The Board talked with best-selling author and LinkedIn’s Editor-at-Large George Anders about ways to demonstrate the value of the liberal arts to employers; they heard from Kenyon’s new dean of career development, Holly McCormack, about opportunities to enhance the College’s approach to this work; and they discussed with Elizabeth Scarborough Johnson, whose firm is conducting research on current perceptions of the College, how to position the distinctive value of a Kenyon education to prospective students and their families.
Points of interest in the budget include:
The operating budget for fiscal year 2018–19 reflects a 3.95 percent increase in total student charges, which will rise to $68,440 for the next academic year.
The commitment to student financial aid was increased to $37,451,000 — an increase of 7.3 percent over fiscal year 2017–18.
The overall increase in both the faculty and staff salary pools is 2 percent; staff who currently earn $100,000 or more will be limited to a $2,000 increase. Additional money was set aside to target salaries lagging the marketplace. Pay increases for union members are dictated by contract.
Depending on the health insurance plan selected, employees will see between $4 and $34 per month increases in health insurance premiums (the new rates will be available on the Human Resources website later this month). These are the smallest monthly increases seen within the last several years, and the College's Benefits Committee continues its work in researching the best long-term options for the College and its employees.
In other business, the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee heard an update on the Class of 2022 and on the College’s approaches to financial aid packaging. On Wednesday evening, members of the Board gathered in the Los Angeles office of Bloomberg for a panel discussion about the entertainment industry. The panel was moderated by trustee Matthew Winkler ’77 H’00 P’13 and featured trustee and television executive Samie Falvey ’96, talent agent Molly Mandel ’04, and actor, writer and director Josh Radnor ’96.