Board of Trustees Update December 2013
Chair of the Oberlin College Board of Trustees Clyde McGregor provides a synopsis of the work done by the board during its December 2013 meeting.
The Board of Trustees met in Oberlin December 12 and 13, 2013. The program began Thursday with a meeting of the board’s Investment Committee. The Investment Committee meets separately from the board three times during the year, typically in locations that make it easier for the committee to visit with outside investment managers. The December meeting is held in Oberlin in order for the full board to have the opportunity better to understand that the Investment Committee’s work.
Thursday evening the board dined with students designated by Student Senate and then held an all-board meeting of the Capital Planning Committee, where the fiscal year 2014 capital maintenance budget was approved. The day ended with the Trustee-Student Forum, during which students shared interests and concerns with trustees in a new family-style table format with an opportunity to mingle before and after the forum, enabling greater interaction and informal discussion.
Most board meetings have two plenary sessions on Friday, but time demands of several committees dictated that this board meeting would only have one plenary. All remaining board committees met.
The Audit Committee reviewed and approved the audited financial statement for fiscal 2013. The Academic Affairs Committee approved a plan for faculty compensation and support that was also ultimately approved by the full board. The Development and Alumni Affairs Committee reviewed and approved a plan for funding the remainder of the Oberlin Illuminate campaign. A subcommittee of the board began discussions surrounding the process for the development of the next Strategic Plan, which will ultimately involve all Oberlin’s constituencies.
As I noted after the board’s October meeting, each committee has a charter that helps to explain the work of the committees and therefore the board. These charters may be found on the trustee website.
The board’s afternoon plenary session began with the annual review of the college’s Endowment Funds. The endowment is invested in a diversified fashion with a wide variety of investment managers, and it demands much time, effort and expertise to monitor. The endowment provides substantial support to the college’s budget, so its growth is an important determining factor for the college’s future. During the meeting the development staff was pleased to announce the then current total of $206 million for the Oberlin Illuminate Campaign. This total continues to increase. Once again, the board thanks the development staff for its hard work and all of you who have pledged or contributed to the campaign.
Finally, the board ratified the various motions that the committees had previously examined and approved.