The Board of Trustees will meet this weekend in order to consider recommendations for tenure and to review the preliminary budget, upon which board members will vote in May. The College's newly revised intellectual property policy and the naming of one of the new first-year dorms are not on the agenda, according to Secretary of the College Richard Mersereau.
Mersereau said the Executive Committee voted to move forward with the names of nine faculty who were up for tenure. One candidate's tenure recommendation is still "in progress," and may or may not be considered at this weekend's meeting.
The names of faculty that come before the trustees are rarely denied tenure because by the time they reach the board, they have been approved at every other stage, including the trustees' Academic Affairs Committee.
"Usually the amount of time taken for tenure votes at trustees meetings is relatively concise because the process is so thorough up until this point," Mersereau said.
"It's not that there's not been a lot of discussion leading up to the votes, but by the time the board votes, it's more of a celebration of the names," he said.
Tenure vote is not the only element of this weekend's meeting that will appear streamlined, according to Mersereau.
The full board received a copy of the preliminary budget over a week ago so that if any board member had a serious question about the document, it could be resolved prior to the meeting.
"Good governance is transparent," Mersereau said. "You want a process where the trustees are informed early enough and well enough that if people have a problem, they have a chance to raise it along the way."
In addition to the discussions of the budget and the vote for tenure, the trustees will also approve upcoming capital projects, approve honorary degree recipients, and tour the Walker Art Building, which is currently undergoing a major renovation.
Also included in the agenda is a vote to approve the acquisition of 66 Harpswell Road.
"There is an ongoing list of properties that we do not aggressively pursue, but these are properties that, if they became available, we'd look into buying them at the right price," Mersereau said. The Harpswell property is on this list.
The trustees' schedule also includes a private breakfast with President Barry Mills, a tradition that Mills instituted upon his appointment in order to facilitate free discussion among board members.
"It's simple but it's genius," Mersereau said. "Why not give the trustees an opportunity this weekend to sit down and talk, with no agenda, about those issues that cut across lines and don't fit into any committee?"
"No one's taking notes and no one's going to be reporting back to anyone. Often as a result of those meetings, things will find their way onto future agendas," he said.
The trustees will meet again on campus in May, but their fall 2006 meeting will be in Boston in coordination with the College's public announcement of the capital campaign. The College hopes to have $125 million in hand or in pledges by November, in an effort to reach its overall goal of $250 million.
Although the College wants to give trustees the opportunity to be present at the public launching of the campaign, "there's no substitute for coming to campus and having the opportunity to meet with faculty and students," Mersereau said.
The newly selected candidate for the position of Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd will be present at this weekend's events in order to start meeting the trustees, according to Dean of Student Affairs Craig Bradley.