Dear Members of the Campus Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, congratulations to our 2021 graduates! Commencement is such a special time, and I enjoyed celebrating with you and our 2020 graduates this past weekend. While the ceremonies were a little different from those in the past, we are deeply thankful to all involved in a truly extraordinary effort that made our in-person ceremonies possible and safeguarded the campus community throughout the pandemic.

On Friday, the trustees concluded our fourth series of virtual meetings.  We are eager to return to campus for our meetings in the fall. In the meantime, I am pleased to share with you the key actions and activities undertaken during our May meetings:

Strategic Plan. Trustees, President’s Cabinet members, the Faculty Senate Chair, the President of the Alumni Council, and members of the University Relations team participated in a workshop focused on comprehensive campaign planning to support the objectives of the Leadership for a Changing World strategic plan.  We assessed the university’s readiness for a new fundraising campaign and plan to move forward in January 2022. We also discussed ways to highlight and advance the distinctiveness of a Puget Sound education in preparing students for success.

Business Meeting. The board received reports from Robin Jacobson, Chair, Faculty Senate; Sarah Johnson, Acting Chair, Staff Senate; Ted Meriam ’05, President, Alumni Council; and Kayden Diodati ’23, ASUPS President. The board also heard reports from its policy, operating, and special committees.

  • The newly appointed Special Advisory Committee on Strategic Enrollment Initiatives convened the first week of May to discuss the Strategic Enrollment Planning process. The university has been engaged over the past year and likely key areas of focus for the committee in the future.
  • The Audit Committee brought forward revisions to the university’s Code of Conduct that is designed to align university policies better, provide clarity to the campus community about points of contact and protections against retaliation, and emphasize the Code of Conduct’s applicability to our individual conduct and the collective performance of our responsibilities as members of the university community. The board approved these changes, and the revised Code of Conduct will be available on the university’s webpage this week.
  • The Academic and Student Affairs Committee brought forward a Phased Retirement Policy for faculty and accompanying Faculty Code amendments, both of which were approved.

Tenure and Promotion. We were pleased to support the promotion and/or tenure of the following outstanding faculty members:

  • Tenure: Renee Simms, African-American Studies; Bryan Thines, Biology
  • Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor: Jason Struna, Sociology and Anthropology
  • Promotion to Clinical Associate Professor: Renee Watling, Occupational Therapy
  • Promotion to Professor: Peter Hodum, Biology; Emelie Peine, International Political Economy; Amanda Mifflin, Chemistry

Elections. The board also elected trustee and non-trustee officers for the upcoming year and elected a new incoming trustee class who will join the board on July 1.

We recognized and thanked the following departing trustees for their service and generosity to the university:

  • Christopher R. Pohlad ’07
  • Michael A. Veseth ’72
  • Linda R. Wilson ’75, P'12

Trustee Kenneth W. Willman '82, P'15, P'18, read a resolution in appreciation of the lifetime of service of departing trustee Michael A. Veseth '72, a Tacoma native who has the unique distinction of contributing to the university as a student, professor, and trustee.

We are pleased to welcome the following newly elected trustees, who will begin their service on July 1, 2021:

  • Carla Cooper ’72
  • Brian Gross ’98
  • Karen Jenkins-Johnson ’82
  • Lyle Quasim ’70, Hon.'05 (returning)

We also elected the following trustees to their second and third three-year terms on the board:

Second Term

  • Shelly J. Heier ’98
  • Sunshine A. Morrison ’94
  • John P. Walker P'18

Third Term

  • Sumner P. Erdman ’87
  • Jeremy L. Korst ’97
  • William T. Weyerhaeuser

Trustees also recognized the exemplary service of retiring faculty and staff members; enjoyed the opportunity to view a broadcast of the School of Music Opera Theater’s “An Evening of Opera Scenes;” and heard a brief presentation from the new director of the Master of Public Health program, Dr. Cara Frankenfeld. We very much look forward to welcoming the inaugural cohort of MPH students in the fall.

As the current academic year comes to a close and we prepare for next fall, we wish to not only acknowledge but continue to participate in the important work in which the university community as a whole is engaged in continuing to build a campus culture grounded in equity and inclusion. Our mission calls for it, and our vision for the future of our university depends upon it.

More information about the trustees and our work supporting Puget Sound can be found on our website.

With much appreciation to our students, faculty, and staff members and with gratitude for your good and important work over the course of such a challenging year,

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