The College is looking forward following the Board of Trustees' approval of President Barry Mills' much-publicized financial recommendations.
The Trustees met last Friday and Saturday on campus to review the College's finances, discuss the budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, review recommendations for tenured professors and commencement honors, and attend to other business.
In his e-mail to the College on Monday, Mills announced that last Friday the Board "enthusiastically endorsed the recommendations of the 'Blue Tarp Committee' aimed at helping Bowdoin reach financial equilibrium."
The Blue Tarp Committee proposed, as outlined in Mills' January 22 memo to the Bowdoin community, to increase the student body by 50 over the next five years, freeze faculty and most staff salaries for two years, hold operating costs flat, and defer maintenance and capital projects that have not already begun.
Mills wrote on Monday that the committee's measures "should allow us to preserve the outstanding quality of our academic program, avoid layoffs, maintain our facilities and grounds, and sustain our commitment to financial aid and to the enduring values that define Bowdoin."
Senior Vice President for Planning and Development and Secretary of the College Bill Torrey said that there were no disagreements with Mills' proposal and that the weekend on the whole lacked controversy.
"The general mood of the Trustees was good considering the financial challenges in front of us," Torrey said. "They were confident that the College has provided the necessary leadership to reach a financial equilibrium."
In addition to two plenary sessions on Friday and Saturday, eight committees met throughout the weekend, each of which was engaged in different versions of Mills' memo, according to Torrey.
The College announced to the trustees a $10-million donation from nuclear-physicist Dr. Peter Buck '52, perhaps best known as the co-founder of Subway. According to Torrey, Buck's commitment will most likely be used to fund the remaining expenses associated with the Fitness, Health and Wellness Center that is currently under construction.
Torrey said that the College will receive additional gifts over the next two to three years totaling roughly $17 million, most of which will go into the endowment.
Buck's contribution helped the Bowdoin Campaign, the five-year fundraising campaign that concludes on June 30 of this year, surpass its goal of $250 million, bringing it to a current level to $253 million, according to Torrey.
"The Trustees were extremely excited," said Torrey. "They have worked hard to do this. Many of them have made substantial gifts themselves and have spent time asking others to make gifts."
He emphasized, however, that the campaign is not over and fundraising efforts will continue through the fiscal year.
The Board of Trustees will not vote on the 2009-2010 budget until May.
While finances dominated the weekend's discussions, Torrey said that "everyone agrees they'd like to talk about something other than money."
The Board approved the names presented by Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd and the Academic Affairs committee to award tenure to six professors (see related story, right).
The Trustees also agreed on five honorary degree recipients for the 204th Commencement exercises on May 23, as recommended by the Subcommittee on Honors.
In an e-mail to the College on Wednesday, Mills announced that honorary degrees will be awarded to playwright Edward Albee, artist Stephen W. Hannock '74, leading breast cancer researcher Olufunmilaya Olopade, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, and environmental activist and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Mills wrote that these "exceptionally talented" honorands will lead events during Commencement Weekend.
In an e-mail to the Orient, Dean Judd said it was announced this weekend that Bowdoin will extend its course offerings next year to include second-year Arabic, in addition to first-year Arabic, which was introduced this year.
"We will offer two years of Arabic instruction as a three-year pilot program," wrote Judd. "I am delighted that we have been able to introduce the language at Bowdoin and that we can now offer the second year."
Interim Dean of Admissions Scott Meiklejohn presented the Board with a report on admissions applications, but Torrey said that the status of financial aid will not be certain until the Class of 2013 is set.