Hello! I’m Duane Halliburton,
Vice Chair of the Gallaudet University
Board of Trustees. The Spring Board of
Trustees meeting is always a cherished time
for us because we have
the opportunity to interact with students and
their families. We are excited for
the new graduates who will be heading out
into the world. We hope the Class of 2015 knows that Gallaudet will
always be home, now and forever. Here is a summary of the Spring 2015
Board of Trustees meeting. The Department of Business is focusing on
entrepreneurship as well as a new program in risk
management and insurance. We learned of a $250,000
grant to support the development of “ASL Connect,” our planned
online learning program for ASL. We also
want to congratulate the University’s Technology
Access Program for receiving
a subcontract award from the Federal
Communications Commission to improve the
quality, availability, and interoperability
of Video Relay Services. Faculty helped organize
and participate in several special events
over the last year. One such event
was “It’s On Us,” a campus-wide effort
to raise awareness about sexual misconduct. Another was the “Black Lives
Matter” series on race relations. Faculty also conducted dialogues
to promote interactions between faculty
and students, as well as worked
on efforts to re-establish a convocation
at the University. The board approved
three motions to modify the faculty handbook: first, to clarify language in
regard to non-resident faculty; secondly, to allow faculty who were denied tenure the opportunity to continue
to serve at the University depending on need;
and to allow faculty to be promoted to
the assistant professor rank after receiving
a terminal degree. The board also
publicly acknowledged the 13 faculty members who were
granted tenure last year and Academic Affairs
approved tenure for seven faculty members
this year. The committee
decided to establish a four-person subcommittee
to define the charge and identify members
of a taskforce. Members are
Dr. Khadijat Rashid, Provost Carol J. Erting, Dr. Matthew Bakke and Vice President
of Finance and Administration Paul Kelly. The taskforce will
generate a timeline and identify resources needed
to carry out the work of aligning
the Faculty Guidelines and the A&O Manual. The FAB was established to
explore shared governance and what it means
to the University. It was agreed that
a dialogue focused on shared governance
will be organized at the next
board meeting in October. Trustees were given brief
presentations by the newly elected Student Body Government
President Mary Harmon and Graduate School Association
President Phyllis Steele. The committee also
included a panel discussion with graduating seniors who shared their experiences
at Gallaudet. So far in FY2015,
$7.4 million has been raised, a 145% increase over this time
last year. Alumni participation has
increased to 25.1% from 19.1% this time last year. A giving website is in
development for those donors with bequests or
endowments to what is known as the Abraham Lincoln
Legacy Society. Trustees approved
recommendations by the Budget and Operations
Committee and the University Planning
and Budget Committee (UPBC) to approve: a
$173 million operating budget; a $12.7 million
capital budget for FY 2016; and 3% increase to student
tuition for FY2016. UPBC has recommended
a review of programs and services to determine
their true costs, to identify which programs
are viable and in demand, and to reassess non-academic
administrative programs to maximize efficiencies. Trustees also
approved $2 million for a general pay increase at
the President’s discretion contingent on a federal
appropriation allocation equal to the FY 2015
appropriation, as well as a demonstrated effort
to reduce head count to 910 employees
by the end of FY2016. As of March 31, 2015,
the market value of the University’s
endowment was $196,151,712. Trustees approved
committee recommendations to increase the asset
allocation for private equity from 3.5% to 5%,
and to commit $3 million to Goldman Sachs’ private
equity management fund. The committee received briefings on fall 2015 enrollment
projections for undergraduate,
graduate and ELI students. It also received updates
on the progress toward filling
key staff vacancies and standardizing
financial aid procedures to be in line
with best practices. Finally, the committee
received a briefing from the Cabinet level
Marketing Advisory Group on the progress for
developing a new website, brand, and tagline
for the University. The PSAC is pleased with the
strong pool of candidates for the new University
President. Finalist candidates will
be announced in the fall and invited to
present to the campus. And finally, the Board
approved the recommendation by the Committee on
Trustees that Chair Harker, Jameson Crane, Nancy
Kelly-Jones, and Claire Bugen be elected to serve another
three-year term. On behalf of the board, I would like
to share our appreciation to the campus community
for its collaborative efforts this year. The work of the board
would not be able to be done without the input,
guidance, and support of many in the community. We see Gallaudet becoming a “We” and we are inspired
by that spirit. We wish you
all a wonderful summer!