Campus Report

Report from the Board of Trustees Fall 2017

Office of Communications
November 7, 2017

Chaired by Brackett B. Denniston ’69, the Kenyon College Board of Trustees met in Gambier on October 26–27, 2017. The Board approved budget and financing plans for the construction of the library and west academic quadrangle; heard updates on plans for interim library services and study spaces; and received reports on projects to be completed in advance including the proposed siting of temporary library facilities and the construction of two new English buildings.

Enrollment management consultant Brian Zucker of Human Capital Research Corporation presented an analysis of strategies to optimize the College’s financial aid budget and enroll an academically strong and diverse class.

Highlights from committee meetings include:

  • The Academic Affairs Committee heard from Holly McCormack, new dean of the career development office, and Marcella Hackbardt, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, on initiatives currently underway in their areas.

  • The Admissions and Financial Aid Committee and the Diversity Committee met jointly to review enrollment priorities and consider potential programs, including Posse, to advance Kenyon’s diversity goals.

  • The Budget, Finance and Audit Committee reviewed a 5-year forecast of the operating budget; the Investment Committee reviewed fiscal year 2017 returns and considered the management of new capital assets; and the Audit Sub-Committee reviewed the fiscal year 2017 auditor’s report, which was clean.

  • In addition to reviewing the budget and timelines of current and upcoming capital projects, the Buildings and Grounds Committee heard updates from Erin Keleske ’18 and Sam Wolf ’19 on the College’s Climate Action Plan.

  • The Development and External Affairs Committee heard from Janet Lape Marsden, associate vice president for communications, on efforts to raise Kenyon’s visibility and align messaging across admissions, fundraising and public relations campaigns.

  • The Student Affairs Committee welcomed Chris Smith, new director of health services, and Robin Hart Ruthenbeck, new dean of students; it heard from members of the Office of Student Engagement on efforts to move forward on recommendations made last year by the Alcohol Task Force. Members of the committee also met with student leaders over lunch.

In other action, the Board:

  • Welcomed Rose Brintlinger Fealy ’84 and D. Matthew Voorhees '95 as trustees-at-large serving six-year terms; Yiji Shen Starr ’91 and Samie Kim Falvey ’96 as alumni trustees serving four-year terms; and Leigh Comas P’19 as a parent trustee serving a four-year term.

  • Approved the proposed slate of officers: Sean M. Decatur, President; Joseph L. Klesner, Provost; Heidi H. McCrory, Vice President for College Relations; Todd E. Burson, Vice President for Finance; Shirley F. O’Brien, Controller; Mark J. Kohlman, Chief Business Officer; Judith Hoff Gilbert, Secretary; and Kathryn Brechler Lake, Assistant Secretary.

  • Approved the promotion of Associate Professor of Chemistry John Hofferberth and Associate Professor of Biology Andrew Kerkhoff to full professor.

  • Approved memorial resolutions honoring Roy T. Wortman, professor emeritus of history, and Amy Blumenthal, former assistant professor of English, director of admissions publications and consulting editor at the Kenyon Review.