Executive Committee discusses policy in Boston
The Executive Committee met on September 20 at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in Boston to discuss college policies, and, more specifically, how money is spent at Bowdoin. The meeting, with 28 Executive Committee members in attendance, was the first of three held annually. Generally, the Committee meetings are held four weeks before a full Board of Trustees meeting. The Executive Committee has nearly the same power as the full Board of Trustees, but can neither elect a President nor alter the by-laws of the college.
The agenda for each of the Executive Committee meetings does not vary greatly. According to Richard Mersereau, Secretary of the College, "the finances of the college, which include the development of the budget, the performance of the investment, the plans of the Development Office, and the activities of the Audit Committee are the focuses of every meeting [of the Executive Trustee Committee]."
Although the Committee has the power to vote on a number of significant issues, it often shies away from doing so. Generally, large decisions regarding college policy are saved for full Board of Trustees meetings. Said Mersereau, "The Executive Committee has nearly all the powers of the full Board, but it avoids using them. It will usually vote on insignificant things, but if time is an issue, it will vote on significant things."
The Executive Committee meetings, essentially, serve to determine what matters need to be focused on for the Board of Trustee Meetings. The process for determining important school policies, such as tuition, began with the meeting on September 20, and will likely culminate with voting on key issues in February.
As of now, nothing discussed by the Executive Committee is conclusive. The Executive Committee considered a new set of college by-laws at its most recent meeting. The new by-laws would not significantly alter current rules and regulations, but would be re-written in a language that is easier to understand.