October 2018 Board Report

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The board of trustees met on campus Oct. 4 and 5, and we were happy to have students, faculty, and staff members in attendance at our business meeting. Please know that business meetings are always open to members of the campus community. 

Meanwhile, I’d like to share a few highlights from our recent series of meetings:

Leadership for a Changing World: University of Puget Sound 2018-28 Strategic Plan
I am very pleased with the active and full participation of my fellow trustees in our discussion about, and reflection upon, the goals and projected outcomes of the 10-year strategic plan, and appreciated the good and collaborative input throughout the meeting.

  • Professors Peter Wimberger, Katherine Smith, Greta Austin, and Renee Houston joined trustees for a workshop on key elements of the developing curriculum initiative, with a focus on building high impact experiences more intentionally into the curriculum for the benefit of every student. We heard ideas about potential content area pathways to explore through the curriculum, experiential learning, mentorship, and e-Portfolios. Trustees had the opportunity to discuss questions related to the faculty’s review of the curriculum, and to meet with a dozen students who shared their experiences in summer research, internships, study abroad, and other scholarly work.
  • At the business meeting, we endorsed the goals and objectives of the Leadership for a Changing World plan and look forward to reviewing and discussing various initiatives in support of the plan as they are developed over the coming decade. As one trustee noted, the plan “ticks all the boxes” but “execution is where the work really begins.” We are excited about the promise of the plan and look forward to engaging with you in that good and important work.

2018 Race and Pedagogy National Conference
President Crawford showed a video clip from the recent conference, and conference leaders were invited to meet with trustees so that we could hear directly from Professor Dexter Gordon and express our appreciation to all involved in leading this important conference for the campus and broader community.
Welcome Center 
We look forward to bringing online this essential resource for welcoming prospective students and their families to campus, which will also have spaces available for campus events and gatherings when not in use by Admission.

  • The construction contract for the new Welcome Center was authorized contingent on the successful completion of fundraising.
  • Groundbreaking is anticipated to occur between Nov. 2018 and Feb. 2019, with completion of the project targeted for Nov. 2019 to April 2020.

Statement on Divestment

  • As reported in May, the investment subcommittee is engaging in a periodic review of the Board of Trustee’s Statement on Divestment, and will make a recommendation regarding any updates or changes in May 2019.
  • More information about the university’s approach to the endowment, including the General Portfolio and Fossil Fuel-free Portfolio, is available online at About the Endowment.

New and Returning Trustees 
We welcomed to their first meeting the following new trustees:

  • Shelly J. Heier ’98, president and chief operating officer of Verus in Seattle
  • Michael R. Nicolais P’18, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Highlander Partners in Dallas
  • John P. Walker P’18, executive chair of Zosano Pharma in Fremont, California

We also welcomed the return of Sunshine A. Morrison ’94, principal and founder of Radiance Communications in Seattle.

Breakfast with Faculty and Lunch with Students 

  • In addition to the business meeting being open to all members of the campus community, trustees hold time to meet informally with faculty and students. We greatly enjoy these opportunities to learn more about the work of students and faculty and hear about your experiences. 

President’s Leadership Society Reception

  • This well-attended event on Thursday evening was a means of thanking our major donors for their support. We enjoyed hearing from President Crawford, Alumni Fund Chair Joel Hefty ‘86, and Alumni Fund Scholarship recipient Carly Dryden ’19.

This is an exciting time for Puget Sound, and I am committed to our full participation in realizing our vision for the future: ensuring that every student who graduates from Puget Sound is prepared to create and serve the future, and to become part of the world’s next generation of visionary leaders.

Robert C. Pohlad P’07
Chair, Puget Sound Board of Trustees