Dear Members of the Campus Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, congratulations to the class of 2022! The board recently concluded its May meetings on campus and trustees were grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate with our new graduates and their families over Commencement weekend. Thank you to the entire campus community for their excellent teamwork and collaboration to create a special moment that appropriately recognizes the significance of this particular milestone in our students’ lives.
In their time on campus last week, trustees were fortunate to be able to spend time with members of the ASUPS Executive Team, Senators, and Honor Court Justices, members of the Puget Sound Student Investment Club, retiring faculty, and Phi Beta Kappa members and their families. Trustees also spent time in workshops, committee meetings, and the open session business meeting to advance the institutional and strategic priorities of the university. In particular, trustees spent significant time as a group and in committees understanding our enrollment and student retention for the upcoming year and associated impact on the university budget and programs. Trustees also learned about post-pandemic consideration of online courses by students and the faculty. This issue is an important institutional one that implicates the mission of the university, and trustees anticipate further discussion, likely in October, that will help direct the university’s efforts and future activity in this area.
Comprehensive Program Review. Trustees participated in a workshop with members of the Program Review Steering Committee and with John Stevens from Stevens Strategy, where they were able to engage with steering committee members and learn more about the preliminary subcommittee recommendations as the committee continues its work towards final recommendations to President Crawford in September. Board members are grateful for the dedication, creativity, and ongoing work of the steering committee members, and appreciated the opportunity for dialogue about the emerging thinking. We know how hard these reviews are and recognize that faculty and staff members have voluntarily taken on this arduous task on top of other responsibilities, and recognize that the environment has continued to shift since the program review launched.
Board members also heard steering committee members’ request for better clarity on our desired outcomes and the need for support for scenario modeling over the summer. We are preparing feedback for the committee to help support them in focusing their work over the next few months as they prepare their final recommendations for President Crawford in September, in advance of his presentation of his recommendations to the board in October.
Business Meeting. At its business meeting, the board met and took action on several key items, including:
- Updating the Board Organization and Committee Responsibilities document to reflect key governance revisions and committee service, adding language that explicitly articulates the board’s commitment to having faculty, staff, and student perspectives included and considered by committees in doing their work, and more formally stating the board’s and committees’ continuing work on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism.
- Approval of proposed amendments to the Student Integrity Code, which focused on providing additional clarity and precision in sections of the code pertaining to personal and academic integrity, disorderly and disruptive behavior, and alcohol and drugs, as well as adding definitions for additional terms used in the code;
- Approval of proposed amendments to the Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct to address clarifications and corrections that have been identified since the Department of Education published new Title IX regulations in May 2020;
- Approval of proposed amendments to the Faculty Code, specifically Chapter III, Evaluation of Faculty, Section 4, Evaluation Procedure; and
- Approval of a Statement Affirming the Board’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Commitment and Strategy, reaffirming the board’s 2016 commitment to reducing fossil fuel investments and an aspiration to have an endowment entirely free of fossil fuel investment;
We also heard reports from our ex-officio members: Faculty Senate Chair Robin Jacobson, Staff Senate Chair Sarah Johnson, Alumni Council President Ted Meriam ’05, and incoming ASUPS President Nathan Sansone '24. This was the last meeting for both Robin Jacobson in her capacity as Faculty Senate Chair and for Sarah Johnson in her capacity as Staff Senate Chair, and the board is deeply grateful for their service in these roles during challenging times.
Elections. The board also elected trustee and non-trustee officers for the upcoming year, and elected a new class of incoming trustees who will join the board on July 1. I am pleased to share that trustee Beth M. Picardo '83, J.D. '86, was elected as Chair-Elect, with the expectation that she will stand for election as Chair for 2023-24.
We are pleased to welcome the following newly elected trustees, who will begin their service on July 1, 2022:
- Christopher R. Pohlad '07 (returning)
- Emily S. Sturm '14
- Erik A. Wallace '96
We also elected the following trustees to their second and third three-year terms on the board:
- Heidi B. Brock '85
- Kathleen M. Duncan '82
- Gwendolyn H. Lillis P'05
- Ryan E. McAninch '06
- Jamilia J. Sherls-Jones '05
- David J. Watson ’92
Trustees Bruce L. Titcomb '80 and Nicholas D. Vasilius '07 have completed 9 years of service on the board. Consistent with board policy, they both will now rotate off the board. At this meeting, both were elected as trustees emeriti. We are deeply grateful for their contributions and years of service to the university.
The board also recognized the longstanding and excellent service of Dave Beers, Vice President for University Relations, and Sherry Mondou, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and thanked them for their significant and lasting contributions to the university.
Tenure and Promotion. In closed session, we were pleased to support promotion and/or tenure of the following outstanding faculty members:
- Tenure: Tracy Doyle (School of Music); Michael Pohl (Exercise Science)
- Promotion to Professor: David Chiu (Mathematics & Computer Science)
- Promotion to Associate Professor: Oscar Sosa (Biology); Wind Woods (Theatre Arts)
More information about the trustees and our work in support of Puget Sound can be found on our website.
The trustees are grateful for the deep investments of time, talent, and energy from our faculty, staff, and students to make this university so special and extraordinary. As we celebrate our graduates, we also want to celebrate the entire campus community on making it through this challenging year and still achieving remarkable success. Thank you to faculty, staff, and students for all that you do.
Robert C. Pohlad P’07
Chair of the Board of Trustees