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Message from the Chair

Following each meeting of the board of trustees, the chair updates the Colgate community about the university’s status and progress.
Denis F. Cronin '69

January 2015

Dear Colgate colleagues and friends,

The Board of Trustees met in Hamilton January 24-25, 2015 and I am pleased to share with you highlights from this productive time on campus.

Given President Herbst’s decision not to renew his contract when it ends in June, we revised the format of the meeting to allow for significant time to discuss the presidential transition and search process. Trustees Michael Herling '79, P'08, '10, '12 and Brion Applegate '76 met with a number of faculty and staff to collect insights and suggestions for the search effort. In addition, the board met with Interim President-Elect Jill Harsin to discuss the presidential transition and ways we can sustain the great momentum Colgate has enjoyed in recent years.

As the scope and complexity of our operations have increased, so has the board’s engagement with associated issues and opportunities to support students, faculty and staff, and to properly steward the university’s fiscal and capital resources. As a result, the board voted to modify its by-laws to add an additional vice chair as an officer of the board. Elected to this important role was Dan Hurwitz '86, P'17, joining existing vice chair Rob Kindler '76, P'04, '08, '12.

Senior staff provided very encouraging reports in their areas. Vice President and Dean of Admission Gary Ross '77 reported on solid application and enrollment data and trends for the Class of 2019, and Vice President Murray Decock '80 reported on positive year-end metrics in career services, alumni relations, and fundraising.

The Board also heard a collective update from Vice President and Dean of the College Suzy Nelson, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Doug Hicks, and Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity Lyn Rugg regarding their proactive efforts to build an increasingly inclusive campus. Trustees were pleased with the progress on the Colgate for All initiative and various other campus climate efforts that are underway across the institution.

The Board enjoyed occasions to interact with faculty, staff, and students over the course of the weekend, including a dinner with faculty members involved in some of the projects discussed in the meetings on Saturday.

In official action, the board gave final approval for project costs to build the new Center for Art and Culture (CAC), to be located in the Village of Hamilton. This comes as a result of strong support, hard work, and dedication over four years by many faculty, staff, and trustees. The 17,000-square-foot structure designed by world-leading architect David Adjaye will allow us to show and store our collections from the Picker Art Gallery and the Longyear Museum of Anthropology, which will be a tremendous educational resource for Colgate’s curriculum, and for Hamilton and the surrounding region.

The board also authorized the purchase of property at 22 Utica Street in the village, which will connect to the CAC and will house a community room, CAC offices, and a new café.

Board action also included discussions and approvals for renovations to 100 Broad Street, Curtis Hall, and Drake Hall to prepare for the introduction of Colgate’s first residential learning community this fall.

The board also approved all project costs associated with the construction of a new Career Services building, which will be fully funded by donor contributions. Although the exact location is still to be determined, the building committee is working with architects representing the firm Ayers Saint Gross to review options based on community input and programmatic needs for this important student service.

The board approved the sale of a five-acre parcel of land to Good Nature Farm Brewery & Tap Room, where it will construct new facilities intended to benefit members of the community, the university, the local economy, and tourism.

Finally, the board approved refinancing $43.7 million of outstanding debt to capitalize on current interest rates, which remain very low from a historical perspective. Savings from the transaction are projected to be approximately $6.9 million on a net present-value basis over the next 25 years.

The next board meeting will be held April 10–11, coinciding with both e-weekend and the next Alumni Council meeting. The weekend also will include the Balmuth Teaching Award dinner that recognizes the academic excellence and teaching talents of our faculty and is a highlight for trustees each spring.

The board remains most grateful, especially during this time of transition, for your efforts and the many ways in which you support our students through the liberal arts and creating an inclusive learning environment for all. Please contact me with any comments or questions.

Best regards from Colgate,
Denis F. Cronin '69, P'09, P'10

Archive

October 2014
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

Members of the Board of Trustees participated in a series of informative sessions and events September 18-20, 2014, the first of four board meetings in 2014-15. This is my 13th report to the Colgate community as board chair, and it is a pleasure to describe the board’s activities and discussions while we were on campus.

I want to begin my report, however, with comments about the campus climate demonstration that began Monday morning, September 22, shortly after our meetings concluded. Although we did not know what was planned at the time, board members gained insights about the issues of concern to many students during our annual open board session on September 20. The open session is held during each fall meeting to provide members of the university community with an opportunity to share perspectives on issues or opportunities for Colgate.

One group of students described serious campus climate issues that were articulated with passion, purpose and promise during the peaceful demonstration organized by the Association of Critical Collegians (ACC). I was personally extremely concerned to learn that a significant segment of our student body has been so adversely affected by the actions of others in our community. As I followed the path of the sit-in, I was proud of the way ACC organized and implemented its call to constructive action. So, too, was I proud of the efforts of President Jeffrey Herbst, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Doug Hicks, and Vice President and Dean of the College Suzy Nelson. Their engagement, compassion, patience, dialogue, and thoughtful responses in the form of a written plan provide the road map to the most inclusive Colgate possible.

I believe this is a historic and transformational moment for our university. The board embraces the value of a liberal arts education on an inclusive campus. The opportunities for academic achievement and personal growth and development should be available to all students. The board’s Student Affairs Committee, chaired by Leroy Cody ’71, will work with the administration as appropriate as steps are taken to implement the action plans that were created with the ACC.

Board members arrived on campus Thursday evening, September 18, and many attended a variety of events, including Colgate’s Living Writers Series, the Peter C. Schaehrer Memorial Lecture, and a session on leadership in the Chapel with Mark Divine ’85, CEO of SEALFIT. Board members also attended a program, reception and dinner associated with the re-opening of the Picker Art Gallery. They joined members of the Colgate community in viewing a wonderful exhibition of photographs by Diane Arbus, and the etchings by Richard Serra, generously on loan from the collections of John Pelosi ’85 and Susan Manly Pelosi ’85, and trustee emeritus Paul J. Schupf ’58.

On Friday, September 19, the following board committees met: Academic and Faculty Affairs, Admission and Financial Aid, Audit, Budget (in the form of a joint meeting with the on-campus Budget and Financial Planning Committee), Hamilton Initiative, and Institutional Advancement and Communications. Many of these sessions focused on the steps involved in implementing and funding the goals of the Strategic Plan. We also joined a networking luncheon organized by the Office of Career Services and the Presidents’ Club, and later in the afternoon, participated in the Academic Ambassadors program, an initiative launched in the spring that connects each trustee with an academic department or program. The basic goals of the program are for trustees to develop an understanding of the nature and substance of the work of the faculty, and the issues they face, and for the faculty to learn about the board as well as provide feedback and observations. Our busy day concluded with a “Speakeasy” dinner led by Yukari Hirata, associate professor of Japanese, and Spencer Kelly, professor of psychology and neuroscience and chair of the psychology department. We dined with a wonderful group of faculty and students and enjoyed a spirited open dialogue facilitated by Spencer about online vs. face-to-face communication and learning.

On Saturday, September 20 the board conducted its formal meeting. President Herbst presented data from the senior class survey, U.S. News and World Report rankings data, and a set of “dashboard indicators” developed to help senior administrators track university progress in a variety of areas. In addition to committee reports, we received updates about the residential learning communities, the New Athletic Facility and the Center for Art and Culture. The board also approved funds to purchase a campus-wide fire alarm reporting system.

The next board meeting will be in Miami Beach January 23-25, 2015. This continues our practice of using the January meeting to connect with constituents in a different part of the country. Our three prior meetings were in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and New York City.

The board remains most grateful for your efforts in support of our students. Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu with any comments, questions or suggestions.

Best regards,
Denis F. Cronin '69, P'09, P'10
June 2014
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

Colgate’s Board of Trustees met on campus June 6-7, 2014, the last of our four meetings for the 2013-14 academic year. It is a pleasure to provide this post-board meeting report to you.

We devoted several hours on Friday to the subject of financial aid, a vital resource for generations of talented students and a cornerstone objective of Colgate University’s Strategic Plan, 2014-19: Living the Liberal Arts in our Third Century. The board received an overview of Colgate’s financial aid program from President Herbst, Brian Hutzley, vice president for finance and administration, and Marcelle Tyburski, director of financial aid. The board also received a presentation from Dr. Sandra Baum, research professor of education policy at George Washington University and senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Dr. Baum is a leading expert on financial aid and is well known for her research and understanding of the forms of financial aid programs administered by colleges and universities. She provided a very helpful assessment of the issues and opportunities associated with Colgate’s goal to fund and adopt a need-blind admission policy. In board action on Saturday, we created an Admission and Financial Aid Committee of the board that will be chaired by Lee M. Woodruff ’83, H’07, P’13 to provide oversight of Colgate’s efforts to enroll a vibrant, diverse, and academically talented community of students regardless of financial need.

On Friday the board also received an update about the various building projects underway or envisioned, including construction of the new soccer field, the new athletic facility, the Center for Art and Culture, a new career center, and improvements in our residence halls. Colgate has a wonderful campus and the board is deeply committed to renovating existing facilities, or constructing new ones, that are properly designed, meet current and future program needs, and are appropriately funded.

The board also received an overview of the Endowment Management and Finance Committee’s investment strategy by Chairperson Barry J. Small ’76 and Joseph S. “JS” Hope ’97, who was recently promoted to the position of chief investment officer. Colgate’s endowment performance has been excellent. For the period September 1998 through March 2014, the investment return averaged 8.1% as compared to a 6.4% return for the S&P 500. Over the past decade the endowment has contributed over $285 million to support the university’s faculty, students, and programs. The board also received the final report on the Colgate Identity Project from Barbara Brooks, interim vice president for communications. Many of the data-driven recommendations are guiding the university’s marketing communications plans for prospective students and families, as well as efforts with our other key constituents.

Trustees and senior administrators attended the dedication of the new Hurwitz Admission Center in James B. Colgate Hall. The renovation project has created a wonderful new space for visitors to campus and is equipped with technology and visual aids that confirm that Colgate is indeed “in the middle of everywhere,” as the multimedia presentation states. Two highlights of the program were the remarks by Kori V. Strother ’15 and Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17, trustee and lead donor to the project.

During our formal business session on Saturday the board acted on several recommendations, including:
  • Recommendations of the President regarding faculty appointments
  • Approved revisions to the Bylaws, Conflict of Interest Policies and Disclosure Procedures, Whistleblower Policy, and board committee descriptions to comply with the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013
  • Approved expenditures to purchase 3.6 acres of property in the Adirondacks for use by Colgate’s Outdoor Education Program
  • Approved the sale of a 0.34 parcel of land in Hamilton, NY, to Fairmount Properties, a real estate development firm from Ohio, which is interested in using the parcel for a proposed housing project.
In addition, the board approved resolutions of appreciation for four trustees whose terms of service ended at the June meeting. The resolutions followed a wonderful dinner on Friday evening that gave us an opportunity to recognize the service of Scott A. Meiklejohn ’77, Mark D. Nozette ’71, Barry J. Small ’76, and Edward M. Werner ’71. All four, each in his own special way, served Colgate in outstanding fashion, and I know we will continue to benefit from their engagement with Colgate in the years ahead.

The board elected four new trustees to three-year terms: Eric A. Cole ’93, New York, NY, a partner at Appaloosa Management LP; Margaret A. Flanagan ’80, Cambridge, MA, who is retired from the law firm of Testa, Hurwitz and Thibeault; Andrew S. Greenfield ’74, P’12, Norwalk, CT, entrepreneur and founder of Colgate’s Thought Into Action Entrepreneurship Institute; and Duncan L. Neiderauer ’81, H’13, Mahwah, NJ, chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange.

Looking ahead to the 2014-15 academic year, the board will meet in Hamilton on September 19-20, April 10-11, and June 5-6. In addition we will meet in Miami, Florida, January 24-25 as part of our annual effort to meet alumni, parents, and friends in different parts of the country and develop connections with guidance counselors who are important resources for attracting talented students.

The 2013-14 year was a vibrant one for Colgate, and the many accomplishments are a tribute to the efforts of the talented faculty and staff who are dedicated to providing a high-quality educational experience for our students. We witnessed evidence of your success at Commencement 2014 and throughout Reunion Weekend, when school spirit and alumni engagement were so palpable. The board joins me in thanking each and every one of you.

Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu if you have any questions or suggestions. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.

Best regards,
Denis F. Cronin '69, P'09, P'10
April 2014
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

Colgate’s Board of Trustees met on campus March 27-29, 2014 and it is a pleasure to provide this report to you.

On Thursday evening, March 27, we joined many faculty and friends at the Colgate Inn where Douglas Johnson, associate professor of psychology, received the Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching for 2014. This award, funded by Mark S. Siegel ’73 to honor Jerome “Jerry” Balmuth, Harry Emerson Fosdick professor of philosophy and religion emeritus, is the highest award given to members of our faculty. The dinner provided a wonderful setting for trustees and faculty to connect, and we were inspired by Doug’s remarks. He clearly is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship and engaging students in the discovery of knowledge.

We devoted four hours on Friday to the subject of implementing Colgate University’s Strategic Plan, 2014–2019: Living the Liberal Arts in our Third Century. As I reported in my communication that followed our January meeting, the board approved the plan. At this session President Jeffrey Herbst; Douglas Hicks, provost and dean of the faculty; Brian Hutzley, vice president for finance and administration; Suzy Nelson, vice president and dean of the college; and Gary Ross, vice president and dean of admission, provided the board with the goals of the plan and the appropriate financial model for revenue, debt, and cost controls to generate the financial resources it requires. Our discussion was part of an ongoing process that will continue as the implementation steps are further considered.

We are delighted that elements of the plan related to internationalization are already underway. Over the next several years we will focus our attention on upgrading the residence halls and implementing a Residential Learning Community model. We will also use our success in raising funds for financial aid as a foundation for generating the funds required to meet our need-blind admission policy goal.

Our lunch on Friday was with faculty and students involved in pilot Residential Learning Communities (RLC). We enjoyed meeting 25 students involved in the RLC Annex program at 49 Broad Street, the Open Society, and the inaugural Sophomore Residential Seminar program. We learned about this promising initiative from remarks by Suzy Nelson; David Dudrick, professor of philosophy and director of the SRS program; and Nicole Halper ’15, co-president of the Open Society. It was very evident that the program is off to a strong start. The board also was briefed about the relationship of the RLCs to the “Living the Liberal Arts” theme of the Strategic Plan and the new student residences to be constructed as part of the Campus Master Plan.

On Friday afternoon the board also met with Michael Sciola, associate vice president for institutional advancement and director of career services; Vera Chapman, associate director for career development; and Teresa Olsen, director of operations and strategic planning. We received an update about their initiatives and strategic goals and learned about plans that are emerging for a new Center for Career Services building, which is needed to accommodate the high levels of student use at every grade level. The university is fortunate that a generous trustee has made a lead gift commitment to launch a fundraising effort that may be completed as soon as this summer.

A highlight of the weekend was the launch of an Academic Ambassadors program that connects each trustee with an academic department or program. The program will enable trustees to develop an understanding of the nature and substance of the work of the faculty, and the issues they face, and for the faculty to learn about the board and provide feedback and observations. The conversations were lively, informative, and provided a wonderful foundation for continued dialogue. They were held in settings across the campus and continued into the evening at a Faculty Tunk in Merrill House. A number of trustees, faculty, and staff took periodic breaks during the Tunk to watch the men’s ice hockey NCAA playoff game against Ferris State. Although we lost in a close contest, we were proud of the achievements of the team and Don Vaughan’s recognition as ECAC Coach of the Year for 2013–2014.

During the board’s formal business session on Saturday morning, we reviewed and approved the budget for fiscal year 2014­­­–2015. The board also approved recommendations for faculty appointments as well as salary recommendations for 2014­–2015. We reviewed and approved funds in support of three building projects that are core elements of the Strategic Plan: the remaining work for the Hurwitz Admission Center, the next phase of architectural design work for the Center for Art and Culture by David Adjaye and Associates, and the renovation of McGregory Hall that will include the construction of our new Center for International Programs. We also heard reports from trustees about the conversations they had with faculty during the Academic Ambassadors program.

The board remains most grateful for your efforts in support of our students. Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu with any comments, questions or suggestions.

Best regards,
Denis F. Cronin '69, P'09, P'10
January 2014
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

The Board of Trustees met in New York City January 24-25, 2014 for meetings that were very productive thanks to the efforts of so many in the campus community who participated in the strategic planning process. The board approved Colgate University’s Strategic Plan, 2014-2019: Living the Liberal Arts in our Third Century, and it is a pleasure to provide this report summarizing that decision and other actions taken.

The Museum of Modern Art provided a wonderful setting for our first gathering, allowing us to reconnect with a number of trustees emeriti and alumni. We are grateful to Lisa Millman ’96, the museum’s director of development, for her assistance. President Herbst provided guests with an important overview of the Strategic Plan, a document that, as many of you know, can be referenced along with associated materials on the Colgate website at http://www.colgate.edu/strategicplan. This event connected well to the Plan’s goals of raising funds for a new Center for Art and Culture and forming a task force to develop a concept for new performing arts facilities.

As referenced in my reports over the last two years, throughout the strategic planning process the board received regular updates so we understood the range of ideas and considerations behind the Plan’s focus on four key strategies: A Need-Blind Admission Policy, A Dynamic Curriculum, A Residential Liberal Arts Education, and A Campus for Colgate’s Third Century. In advance of our meeting in New York City the board was invited to provide feedback about the final draft that the faculty endorsed at its November 4, 2013 meeting.

At our meetings we thanked and congratulated President Herbst, members of the President’s Staff, Advisory and Planning Committee and Campus Master Plan Committee who were with us for identifying the opportunities and challenges facing Colgate and liberal arts colleges, and for the focus on the four “big ideas” described above to advance Colgate over the next five years. We devoted a significant amount of time discussing the Campus Master Plan report that was presented by Sasaki and Associates, proposed residential life communities, and the curriculum. The board requested that President Herbst take the next steps to consider the construction of a new dormitory on the hill, improvements in vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and a hydrology plan for Taylor Lake and Payne Creek.

The largest amount of time was spent on the issue of a need-blind admission policy. The concept of moving towards a need-blind admission policy was approved, but the details of that policy will require further discussion. It is clear the Plan’s goals are ambitious, and will require appropriate budget discipline as well as success in fundraising. Decisions for action on specific implementation steps will be made at future meetings as progress is made in these areas. No declaration of the adoption of a need-blind admission policy will be made until the administration and the board are satisfied that all of the necessary conditions for that policy have been met.

We move forward with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm because Colgate has long demonstrated its ability to not just meet but surpass ambitious goals, including the $480 million “Passion for the Climb” campaign and the more recent December 13, 2013 “Colgate Day” challenge.

The Audit and Budget Committees also met separately and each took important steps to ensure that we continue our discipline of strong fiscal management. The Audit Committee interviewed three finalists to conduct the university’s annual audit and selected KPMG as our new auditor. The Budget Committee did not take any formal action, but did review information provided by the administration about the status of the 2014-2015 budget process and a five-year budget forecast. Other board actions included the approval of a new soccer field so that the New Athletic Facility can be built on Van Doren Field, a plan to renovate the third floor of McGregory Hall and funds to install energy-efficient windows in James B. Colgate Hall.

The board unanimously approved a resolution granting promotion to associate professor and continuing tenure to seven members of the faculty and promotion to full professor for five colleagues. Both President Herbst and Provost Hicks noted that these cases were the first to be considered under the new process for promotion and tenure approved by the faculty last spring. The board also approved two resolutions that will allow Colgate to offer retirement incentives to eligible faculty. Provost Hicks will provide more detail on the programs at the next faculty meeting.

The next board meeting will be held in Hamilton March 27-29, 2014 and will include a number of important meetings and events. We look forward to attending the annual Balmuth Teaching Award dinner and will launch an “Academic Ambassadors Program,” whereby each trustee will be linked with an academic department or program area to gain a better understanding of our academic programs. We will also receive the first of regular reports about the progress of the Strategic Plan.

The board remains most grateful for your efforts in support of our students as we move forward with an exciting Strategic Plan with a timeline that will bring us to a signature moment in Colgate’s history, our bicentennial celebration in 2019.

Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu with any comments, questions or suggestions.

Best regards,

Denis F. Cronin ’69 P’09, P’10
Chair, Colgate University Board of Trustees
October 2013
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

Members of the Board of Trustees participated in a series of informative sessions and events October 3–5, 2013, the first of four board meetings in 2013–14. I write to provide information about our activities and discussions with members of the faculty, staff, and students.

On Thursday evening, October 3, many trustees attended a dinner at Merrill House in conjunction with Colgate’s Living Writers Series. They joined professors and students who had attended the event with acclaimed novelist and essayist Zadie Smith. Other trustees attended the Peter C. Schaehrer Memorial Lecture where Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, spoke on the topic, “Why Civil Resistance Works: Unarmed Struggle in the Past and Future.” Both events were informative and provided a good forum for trustees to experience the vibrant nature of campus events.

On Friday, October 4, the following board committees met: Academic and Faculty Affairs; Audit; Budget, in the form of a joint meeting with the on-campus Budget Committee; Capital Assets; Institutional Advancement and Communications; and Student Affairs. Many of these sessions focused on aspects of the strategic planning process including the Teaching and Learning Working Group report and the Campus Master Plan. A highlight of the day was a luncheon with four international students who provided enthusiastic and insightful perspectives about their Colgate experiences. Board members also attended the inaugural event for the Lampert Institute for Global and Civic Affairs, which featured a lecture by former U.S. Food and Drug Administration head, David A. Kessler, MD. We were delighted to be joined by Edgar A. Lampert ’62, and his wife Robin, who have provided leadership funding of the Institute.

Friday evening’s dinner deserves special reference. The board dined with more than 30 members of the faculty and a program titled “Global Perspectives at Colgate” formed the basis for several presentations and discussions throughout the evening. Provost and Dean of the Faculty Doug Hicks also introduced new members of the faculty who briefly described their fields of study and the reasons they came to Colgate. Following dinner we heard wonderful presentations about study groups and approved programs abroad, language study, and faculty and student research. The meal and conversations confirmed the value of strong trustee and faculty connections and the importance of reinvigorating a project that was piloted several years ago whereby each trustee was connected to an academic department. The purpose and value of this program, which will begin in the spring 2014 semester, is to provide trustees with a better understanding of the important work of the faculty and the issues and opportunities they face.

On Saturday, October 5, the board conducted its formal meeting, devoting the majority of time to discussion of the preliminary draft of the Strategic Plan. The board has received updates throughout the planning process and appreciates the efforts of so many in the campus community to develop a plan that will provide the strategic direction for Colgate in the years ahead. President Herbst was joined by faculty and staff members of the Advisory and Planning Committee (APC) and trustees contributed their insights and comments about the plan. President Herbst also presented data from the senior class survey and U.S. News and World Report rankings data, as well as a set of “dashboard indicators” developed to track university progress in a variety of areas. The board actions included the approval of the New Athletic Facility and the approval of a resolution for the renovation of the admission lobby in James B. Colgate Hall. The board also approved the 2013 Student Organization Relationship Statement that provides clarity about the structures and forms of support for all student organizations in the context of the goals of “Living the Liberal Arts.” The board also held its annual open session, which provides an opportunity for members of the university community to share perspectives and/or make requests to the board.

At the next meeting, which will be held in New York City January 23–25, 2014, the board will consider for approval the Strategic Plan, which will be further refined by the APC after incorporating the feedback that members of the campus community will provide in the coming months. As the two-year planning process comes to a close, the board looks forward to working with President Herbst and members of the Colgate community to adopt and implement the Strategic Plan in order to achieve its appropriately ambitious objectives.

The board remains most grateful for your efforts in support of our students. Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu with any comments, questions or suggestions.

Best regards,

Denis F. Cronin ’69 P’09, P’10
Chair, Colgate University Board of Trustees
June 2013
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

Colgate’s Board of Trustees met on campus June 7-8, 2013, the last of our four meetings for the 2012-13 fiscal year. It is a pleasure to provide this post-board meeting report to you.

Our sessions on Friday, June 7th were structured as updates and, with 34 of the 35 trustees present for our meetings, there was strong and very positive board engagement with the faculty and staff who presented or participated. The Institutional Advancement and Communications Committee conducted the first session that focused on our ongoing institutional identity project. We met with Mark Edwards, Chairman and Founder, and Maria Kadision, President and CEO, of Edwards and Co., the leaders of the firm hired to support the initiative. Edwards and Co. works exclusively with colleges, universities and independent schools to develop institutional identity strategies for marketing and communications. We were joined by Kim Reid, Vice President of Maguire and Associates, a firm that is conducting market research related to the project. The initiative is being coordinated by a 28 person campus committee, and the product of the initiative will be to sharpen our communications in the years to come. Another update on this effort will be given at the October 2013 board meeting.

The Capital Assets Committee met with Ricardo Dumont, Principal, and Gregory Janks, Principal, from Sasaki and Associates, who presented a preliminary draft of the Campus Master Plan. They were joined by three faculty members of the Campus Master Plan Committee: Bob McVaugh, Professor and Chair of Art and Art History, Dan Monk, George R. and Myra T. Cooley Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Professor of Geography, and Bruce Selleck, Harold Orville Whitnall Professor of Geology and former Provost and Dean of the Faculty. Our session was similar to ones you may have attended, and board members were invited to ask questions or make observations about the various ideas being considered. The Sasaki team has compiled a significant amount of data and the board looks forward to reviewing a final version of the Campus Master Plan at its October 2013 meeting.

The Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee session connected board members with faculty who illustrated the various ways technology is being used in teaching today at Colgate. We received an overview from Doug Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and brief presentations from six members of the faculty: Tom Balonek, Professor of Physics and Astronomy (Video Narratives), Karen Harpp, Associate Professor of Geology (Variety of Mapping Applications), Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics (VisLab & Murder on the Ides), Doug Johnson, Associate Professor of Psychology (Using Clickers to Engage Students in the Classroom), Jacob Mundy, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies (Virtual Debates Using Adobe Connect), and Aisha Musa, Assistant Professor of Religion and Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Civilization (Wikipedia Student Authoring). We benefited from the support of the Information Technology staff, including Kevin Lynch, Chief Information Officer, and Ray Nardelli, Manager, Digital Media and Interim Director of Academic Technologies, and were introduced to the members of the Collaboration for Enhanced Learning group. This session provided very useful insights as the board looks ahead to its October 2013 meeting that will include a report from the “Learning and Teaching” Working Group as part of the Strategic Plan.

Our last session on Friday was an informal conversation about the Class of 2017 that will enroll in August. The board congratulated Gary Ross, Vice President and Dean of Admission, and his staff for their efforts that yielded the strongest academic class, and the most diverse, in Colgate’s history. We discussed the steps being taken to support the growing number of students enrolling from states across the country and our preparedness if the trend in attracting and enrolling increasing numbers of international students continues.

During our formal business session the board acted on several recommendations, including:
  • Recommendations of the President Regarding Faculty Appointments
  • Authorization to amend the Colgate University Investment Policy Statement
  • Approved expenditures to renovate James B. Colgate Hall to create the Admission Welcome Center, contingent upon successfully securing gift funding for the full project cost
  • Approved expenditures to install new fume hood monitors and alarms
  • Approved expenditures to purchase 59.18 acres of land near the Colgate campus.
In addition, the board approved resolutions of appreciation for four trustees whose terms of service ended at the June meeting. The resolutions followed a wonderful dinner on Friday evening that gave us an opportunity to recognize the service of Emily H. Bradley ’10, Eric A. Cole ’93, Mark G. Falcone ’85 and John C. Shaw ’76. All four, each in their own special way, served Colgate in outstanding fashion and I know we will continue to benefit from their engagement with Colgate in the years ahead.

That evening we also recognized the outstanding years of service and effort by David B. Hale ’84. Dave’s 20 years of employment at Colgate included 12 years of service as Treasurer. The board joins the campus community in congratulating Dave, his wife Ingrid and their family for all that they have done to enhance the quality of Colgate University and the Hamilton community. We extend our very best wishes as they transition to Richmond, Virginia.

The board also elected four new trustees to three-year terms: Kathleen A. Dill ’89, New York, NY, Vice President, CIB Business & Executive Communications Group, J.P. Morgan; Christine Cronin Gallagher ’83, New York, NY, Managing Director, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey; Daniel L. Rosensweig P’15, P’17, Woodside, CA, Chief Executive Officer, Chegg Inc., and Safwan B. Shabab ’10, Chicago, IL, Associate, Cressey and Company.

Looking ahead to the 2013-14 fiscal year, the board will meet in Hamilton October 4-5, 2013, March 28-29, 2014 and June 6-7, 2014. In addition, we will meet January 24-25, 2014 in either New York or Miami.

As we near the end of a busy and productive 2012-13 I want to express my gratitude to each of you for your efforts in support of our students. Your commitment to their well-being was evident at Commencement 2013 when I visited with graduates and their families and heard them express appreciation for their academic, residential and extracurricular experiences. The many successes of this past year, when coupled with the thoughtful and creative ideas emerging from the working groups of the strategic planning process that will be completed this fall, form a wonderful foundation for Colgate’s future success. Your continued commitment will be critical as we face the challenges of a complex, dynamic and competitive world and my fellow board members join me in looking forward to working with you in the year ahead.

Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu if you have any questions or suggestions.

Best regards,

Denis F. Cronin ’69 P’09, P’10
Chair, Colgate University Board of Trustees
April 2013
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

I am delighted to share with you my report on the spring Board of Trustees meeting and participation in university events. Board members were on campus April 4-6 and enjoyed multiple opportunities to experience the energy and commitment of inspiring faculty, dedicated staff, and talented students. We also gained insights and perspectives from two wonderful outside speakers while also connecting with alumni and parents engaged in the Entrepreneur Weekend.

On Thursday evening, April 4th, we joined many faculty and friends at the Colgate Inn to see Margaret Maurer, William Henry Crawshaw Professor of Literature, receive the Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching for 2013. This award, funded by Mark S. Siegel ’73 in honor of Professor Emeritus Jerome “Jerry” Balmuth, recognizes the excellence of our faculty. Margaret’s remarks displayed the talent, grace, humor and commitment that has led to her high esteem and endeared her to so many during her Colgate career. It was especially gratifying to see many of her former students join in the celebration.

Friday morning’s schedule began with a meeting of the Audit Committee which included representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers, who reviewed plans for conducting Colgate’s annual fiscal audit, discussed ideas for the development of document retention and destruction policies, and reviewed the administration’s report on enterprise risk management issues. That meeting was followed by a presentation by Brian Lemanski ’14 describing a joint project with fellow student Srikar Gullapalli ’13 on religiousness and pollution in the Ganges River in India, completed with support from Colgate and the National Geographic Society. Srikar, one of two Colgate students who earned a prestigious Watson Fellowship this year, was in San Francisco for a conference. It was an impressive demonstration of the scope and quality of our students’ academic interests and the support they receive from Colgate’s faculty and administration.

Board members attended the Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee and Student Affairs Committee meetings that reviewed the current drafts of two strategic plan working group reports. Associate Professor of Religion Eliza Kent and Associate Professor of Economics Nicole Simpson provided insights about the “International and Global Initiatives” working group. Associate Professor of Religion and Jewish Studies and Director of Jewish Studies Lesleigh Cushing and Associate Professor of Psychology Spencer Kelly summarized the efforts to date of the “Living the Liberal Arts” working group. The board was not asked to act on the initiatives but members affirmed the strategic direction emerging from both reports. These reports, together with the reports to be received by the board in June on “Teaching and Technology” and “Campus Master Planning” and the reports previously received on “Academic Excellence,” “Athletics,” and “Rightsizing,” will be considered as a whole by the board in June, over the summer and at the October board meeting.

The Capital Assets Committee met to review the current architectural plans for the proposed Center for Art and Culture. No formal action was required but board members endorsed the design ideas that were presented and the university will continue to take the necessary steps, including important work with the Village of Hamilton, to make this project a reality. The committee also reviewed plans for summer renovations in the Frank Dining Hall, Lawrence Hall and the Keck Center. The committee’s recommendations to authorize funds to support those projects, as well as the repair of a major campus steam line, were approved by the full board on Saturday.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Inc., visited with the board on Friday in advance of her public address in Cotterell Court. Our conversation focused on women in the workplace and on how the use of advancing technologies and social media continue to be of interest and importance to Colgate. That evening board members enjoyed dinner and casual conversation in four faculty homes. We are grateful for the hospitality of Scott and Ellen Kraly, Antonio and Pilar Barrera, Carolyn Hsu and Christopher Henke, and Brendt and Nicole Simpson. They all provided great food and convivial settings for trustees and faculty members to get to know each other and to discuss campus issues.

The board meeting on Saturday, April 6th, began in a special way. Trustee Jim Smith ’70 arranged for the Sojourner’s, Colgate’s Gospel Choir, to open the meeting with an inspirational song performed as the opening prayer. A member of the group, Rebekka Ward ’13, was also recognized as a new Watson Fellow.

During our formal business session, the board reviewed and approved the budget for fiscal year 2013-14 and approved the expenditures for capital projects referenced earlier. It also received brief reports from the various board committees and an update on admission results. We also laid out topics to be discussed at our next board meeting on June 7-8 in Hamilton.

Following the meeting several board members attended the programs associated with the Entrepreneurial Weekend, including a luncheon with the keynote speaker, Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and chief executive officer of Chobani, Inc. Mr. Ulukaya was an excellent speaker, and his yogurt company now employs approximately 1500 people in the region. Colgate will present him with an honorary degree at Commencement 2013.

In addition to Colgate’s always lively atmosphere, the weeks leading up to our next meeting will attract hundreds of visitors to campus to attend such major events as the Global Leaders Lecture Series (April 13), Commencement (May 19) and Reunion 2013 (May 31-June 3). On behalf of the board, I express enthusiastic thanks for all of the efforts of every member of the Colgate community who manage such events. But even more importantly, we thank you for everything you do to support our students and our academic mission throughout the year.

Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Thank you. Best wishes from Colgate.

Best regards,

Denis F. Cronin ’69 P’09, P’10
Chair, Colgate University Board of Trustees
February 2013
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

The Board of Trustees met in Los Angeles, California, January 31- February 2, 2013 and, like our winter 2012 meeting in Palo Alto, California, we had a very informative and productive session. California is home to increasing numbers of alumni and is about to become the second largest feeder state of students to Colgate (after New York). The conversations and presentations we enjoyed underscored the value of meeting there. We were joined by faculty and staff who were important partners in conversations about the challenges and opportunities facing Colgate.

Our opening session Thursday evening featured Michael Lynton, chief executive officer, Sony Corporation of America and Sony Entertainment, Inc. A Harvard College graduate in history and literature with an MBA from Harvard Business School, Mr. Lynton stressed the value of a liberal arts education. He also described how a rapidly changing world will require our graduates to possess knowledge, skills, and the proper tolerance for risk taking in an increasingly uncertain, complex, and technologically driven society.

On Friday morning, we heard from Patricia Gándara, professor of education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Gándara has been recognized internationally for her knowledge of the Latino population within the United States through her study of demographic data and leadership in programs that support access and educational opportunities for Latinos. She provided insights about steps Colgate can continue to take as it seeks to further attract and support a more diverse community of students, faculty, and staff.

Chris Silbermann, founding partner, ICM Partners, served as our luncheon speaker on Friday. He traced his career from the mail room to his leadership of one of the top talent and literary agencies in the fields of television, motion pictures, publishing, music, theater, corporate marketing, and the new media. Mr. Silbermann, a trustee of the University of California Berkeley Foundation, provided helpful insights about the entertainment business and set the stage for our afternoon session, a panel discussion with four recent Colgate graduates. Organized by Michael Sciola, associate vice president and director of career services, the session was titled “Living the Liberal Arts in L.A.” The diverse backgrounds of the panelists reaffirmed the special nature of our Colgate community and their gratitude for their Colgate education.

Some might assume that a winter meeting in a city enjoying great weather would be structured with plentiful free time, but that was not the case. We continued in session for most of Friday afternoon, including a board conversation with members of the President’s Staff on the subject of the long-term viability of the financial model of private liberal arts colleges. We had a healthy, informal dialogue about a very complex subject. The session was not intended to make any decisions; yet the economic climate and public discourse about the cost of higher education will keep this as an important and continuing topic for us to consider over the long term.

Friday evening featured one of the best Colgate events I have ever attended. The board benefited from a unique opportunity to host a reception and dinner at the Getty Center, courtesy of the invitation and support by Mark Siegel ’73, who serves as chair of the board of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The setting was magnificent, and Mark gave us the opportunity to exclusively view the museum’s remarkable exhibits, most notably “Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance,” featuring the most works by Giotto on wood ever to be displayed outside of Italy. Approximately 160 alumni, parents, and friends attended. There was also a group of guidance counselors from area high schools, whose knowledge and understanding of Colgate and its people are very important as we seek to attract the best students from the greater Los Angeles area. The setting facilitated a very important conversation about the arts at Colgate, one especially timely given emerging plans for a proposed Center for Art and Culture at Colgate.

On Saturday, February 2, the board conducted its formal meeting, and several very significant building projects were reviewed with the following approvals of expenditures:
  • A renovation to the 2nd floor of McGregory Hall, projected to be completed this summer.

  • A renovation of the university’s heating plant, which will stretch from summer 2013 through the summer of 2014. Of course, campus steam generation powered by the heating plant will not be interrupted during this time period and when complete, natural gas will replace oil as the plant’s secondary fuel source used in conjunction with the primary source of wood-chip boilers.

  • The purchase of the Chenango Nursery School property and associated expenditures to renovate and expand the building. The property will be leased back to the Chenango Nursery School organization so that the number of community children cared for by CNS may be increased.
In a related action, the board approved the issuance of borrowing and debt financing to provide a source of funds for these and future building projects during a period of historically low interest rates.

Notably, the board discussed at length a set of recommendations advanced by President Herbst regarding plans for a new athletic facility that would replace our 53-year-old Starr Rink and provide important new space for our men’s and women’s ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer programs. The board reviewed three alternative plans, their respective programmatic benefits, and the associated construction and operating costs of each option. The board also recognized the generosity of donors, whose commitments totaling over $20 million provided a strong base of funding. A decision was made to proceed with the development of plans for construction when the fundraising goal of $25 million is reached. The board also endorsed the administration’s plan to construct the facility at a cost not to exceed $37.8 million, as well as the plan to reduce the impact of construction and operating costs by generating additional sources of revenue and charitable gift support.

As we closed our session, I reminded the board that our next two meetings, April 5-6 and June 7-8, would focus on the remaining elements of the strategic planning process and how they address the academic and pedagogical challenges and opportunities Colgate faces now and in the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your efforts in support of our students, and please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu if you have any questions or suggestions.

Best regards,

Denis F. Cronin ’69 P’09, P’10
Chair, Colgate University Board of Trustees
October 2012
Dear Colgate Colleagues and Friends,

The vibrant energy of the campus community was very apparent throughout the time members of the Board of Trustees were on campus October 11-13, 2012. We met with students and faculty in a variety of settings and received important updates about the operations of the university. This was our first of four meetings scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year and it is a pleasure to provide a report about our session.

Many board members were able to arrive in time either to meet Ms. Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and lecturer in Colgate’s Living Writers program, or Dr. Joy Gordon, author of Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions, who delivered the annual Peter C. Schaehrer Memorial Lecture. One group of trustees dined with Dr. Gordon, students and faculty in Merrill House and another group of trustees, students and faculty were hosted by Doug Hicks, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and his wife Catherine Bagwell, Professor of Psychology, for a dinner with Ms. Nafisi in their home.

On Friday, October 12, the following board committees met: Budget, in the form of a joint meeting with the on-campus Budget Committee; Audit; Institutional Advancement and Communications; Capital Assets; and Academic and Faculty Affairs. In each session the board received a brief status report about programs or projects that are in process. Among the topics covered in these sessions were: 1) the academic and intellectual issues and opportunities in Colgate’s strategic planning process, 2) the fiscal considerations of the university as it begins the process of preparing the 2013-14 budget, 3) the timetable that will be followed for a project that will serve as a foundation for future institutional identity efforts, and 4) an overview of considerations for the proposed Center for Arts and Culture, including a presentation by David Adjaye, Architect and Principal Director of Adjaye Associates. I want to make special mention of the Audit Committee meeting, which included a review of Colgate’s financial statements for the 2011-12 fiscal year. Our auditors complimented Colgate’s financial management processes and it is a tribute to the staff involved in our financial reporting and accounting operations that Colgate received such a clean audit report from the university’s external auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Friday’s schedule also included the opportunity to participate in the dedication of the Shaw Wellness Center located in the Cutten Complex. The board followed that event with a luncheon with students organized by the Presidents’ Club. There was a large contingent of alumni who participated in the lunch and other sessions that were structured to assist students with their career plans. Following our afternoon committee meetings the board received a wonderful presentation about the very exciting capabilities of the Anita Grover MD ’74 and Tom Hargrove P’14 Digital Learning and Media Center located in Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology. That evening we dined with a broad cross-section of students who were queried about how to make the Colgate experience a better one.

On Saturday, October 13, the board conducted its formal meeting and received an overview of a variety of data from the senior class survey, U.S. News and World Report rankings and a set of “dashboard indicators” developed to track university progress in a variety of areas. The board very much valued the reports provided by Doug Hicks and Suzy Nelson, vice president and dean of the college, as newcomers to the Colgate community and to the strategic planning process.

The Committees on Athletic Affairs, Endowment Management and Finance, Hamilton Initiative, Legal Affairs and Insurance, Nominating and Trustee Development, and Student Affairs also provided reports about their efforts and/or plans for the year ahead. We also held our annual open session at which members of the university community are invited to share perspectives with, and often make requests to, the board. We heard from two groups: the student leadership of the Blue Diamond Society and a leader from the local organization, MAD Art, Inc. The board actions included approval of academic personnel appointments, approval to purchase property on Route 12B south of the campus, a resolution of appreciation for Ralph F. Verni ’64, who served as a member of, and advisor to, the Endowment Management and Finance Committee for nearly 18 years, and approval of the consolidation of governing documents for Colgate’s retirement pension plan. There were no changes to the pension plan; this was simply an action to allow for more efficient oversight of the plan.

The next board meeting will be held in Los Angeles, California January 31-February 2, 2013. As Colgate continues its efforts to attract students from distant locations and diverse backgrounds, we will use this session to better understand demographic trends, connect them to the institutional identity project, and will also host a dinner at The Getty Center. Last year’s winter meeting in Palo Alto, California was very successful and we look forward to a productive session in Los Angeles as well.

On November 5th Rob Kindler ’76, board vice chair, Dan Benton ’80, chair of the board’s Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee and Jung Pak ’96, committee vice chair, will join me for a discussion with the Colgate faculty at a faculty forum. Dan and I met with the faculty last November and look forward to this additional opportunity for further dialogue with them.

The board remains most grateful for your efforts in support of our students. Please contact me at dfcronin@colgate.edu with any comments, questions or suggestions.

Best regards,

Denis F. Cronin ’69 P’09, P’10
Chair, Colgate University Board of Trustees