Last weekend the Board of Trustees, faculty members and a student representative convened at the Babson Executive Center in Wellesley, Mass. to discuss tenure and honorary degree recipients, as well as the current goals and mission of the College.
According to President Barry Mills, the weekend consisted of various meetings and collaborations, which were held to vote on which professors would be granted tenure as well as to discuss any changes that would be implemented regarding finances of the College.
Mills said that Assistant Professor of Government Michael Franz, Assistant Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Hadley Horch, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Thomas Pietraho, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages Margaret Hanétha Vété-Congolo, and Assistant Professor of Government Laura Henry were selected for tenure.
The meeting served as a gathering to honor familiar faces of Bowdoin as well as a time to welcome the new.
Brock Clarke, author of "The Ordinary White Boy" and "What We Won't Do," will step in as a new creative writing professor at Bowdoin.
The retreat commenced with a guest speaker on Thursday evening. Clayton Christensen, world-renowned professor at the Harvard Business School, spoke about "disruptive change, most recently on the health care and education industry," according to Mills.
The next morning "we had a discussion of the demographic changes that are going on in the United States and that was followed by a plenary session where we went over College finances, voted tenure for some faculty, and voted to approve honorary degree candidates," Mills said.
Though no decisive conclusions about the comprehensive fee were made, the attendees had a general discussion regarding finances. However, Mills noted that they did not decide on any changes that would affect the College.
All of Friday and Saturday morning were devoted to "having the trustees get to know one another and to really educate them about what's going on at Bowdoin relating to issues on many levels," said Mills.
According to Mills, the assemblage focused on four specific areas for discussion: "the demographic issues facing the College, what Bowdoin should do to be global, what we should be thinking about as we teach our students in terms of content and subjects, and what the opportunities around technology relating to the College [are]."
The attendees assembled into small groups to discuss the issues that were put on the table. At the end, they came together to share their thoughts as a collective.
"I think the real consequence of the retreat was that our trustees came away with a much better understanding of the College," Mills said. "This was an opportunity in relatively confined quarters to share time together."
Though Mills said that no major initiatives or conclusions were sparked by the retreat, he was impressed with the success and productivity of the weekend.
"Many institutions struggle to ensure that their governing boards understand and support the mission and the goals that the College is currently doing," Mills said.
Mills praised Bowdoin trustees for their genuine interest and concern for issues involving the College.
"Bowdoin's very fortunate because my overriding impression that I came away from the retreat with was that [Bowdoin trustees] are hardworking people who are devoted to the College. They have a strong sense of the importance of the liberal arts, the idea of the common good, and the high-quality liberal arts institution that we are," said Mills.
"[The retreat] was a lot of work," Mills added, "but it was certainly a success."