The Knox College Board of Trustees, the highest governing authority of the college, meets three times yearly in October, February and June. Responsible for such things as tuition, the budget, investments and degree authorization, its 42 members met during Homecoming to discuss policies and practices of the college.
The report presented to the Board first dealt with course enrollment and expansion of the curriculum, addressing the size and details of the incoming class of 2013, the smoothness with which new students had successfully enrolled and the new courses being offered fall term.
The report also updated the Board on the number of students studying abroad and the statistics that had led the school to make the decision to require student laptops to have wireless capability.
With the current state of the economy, the college’s source of income was a point of critical concern. Several sources of funding from various foundations have increased due to federal stimulus money, and Knox has submitted proposals to update the biology and chemistry facilities.
The money received from donors was also addressed. The number of alumni donors has increased even though the amount of money raised was slightly down, which is normal this year among private colleges. The Phonathon was determined successful and the team responsible for soliciting major gifts for the college has been staffed.
The budget for the 2009 fiscal year was balanced successfully, although the college’s endowment declined by 19 percent. The college is carrying a deficit of $816,000, which is over half a million less than was originally projected at June’s meeting; paying off said deficit by the end of this fiscal year through curtailed spending in superfluous areas will continue to be a priority.
Several new projects had been undertaken at the college. The second phase of the Knosher Bowl construction (adding an amenities center) was completed successfully. Dorm sprinklers were added to several residence halls, more than were originally expected to be completed by this time, and will continue to be installed.
Two new endowed chairs — Religion and Culture and the Burkhardt chair in Modern Languages — have been added to the college, and a third for consumer science is still pending. Other changes include the revamping of the college’s web site.
The Dean also updated the trustees on the Knox College Flu Task Force, which has been developing guidelines and recommendations to follow should an outbreak occur and is taking steps to prevent said outbreak. This is especially important since Knox is now at full capacity; dorms are 100 percent full and look to stay that way. Retention rates are up and Knox’s current enrollment is the fourth-largest in its history. The Dean said that, overall, he felt Knox had a very optimistic feel to it and that being at capacity was “a good problem to have.”
All information and statistics taken from “Report to the Board of Trustees, October 2009”