As the Board of Trustees prepares to meet this week for its winter meetings, members of the board have been mulling over a potential change: altering the roles of the faculty and students who sit on the board as observers.
According to Chair of the Board Richard Riddell ’72, the plan – still in a nascent stage – would switch observers to voting members.
“The problem with observers is they have no voice. They’re observers. They can listen and report back to us and we can go,” Student Senate president Charlie Harned said.
Both said they’d consider choosing members from Student Senate to sit on the board. Riddell also mentioned allowing students to apply to sit as voting members.
“They’re bringing their expertise that’s very different than an alum who went to college 20 years ago,” Riddell said in a phone interview.
He and Harned will meet to discuss the potential change this week.
“I’m excited about it. It’s a welcome change,” Harned said.
The Trustees meeting, which is scheduled around the Alumni Achievement Awards, will start Thursday, Feb. 19. The board has a number of events planned, among them a luncheon with professors to talk about their research and a breakfast with an array of students.
Six committees will meet throughout the week to discuss various facets of the college. One of the topics at the forefront of conversation, Riddell said, is new buildings on campus, like the Art Building, and possible renovations to SMC.
“We just need to make sure it has a good governing process for how the trustees are engaged in reviewing, improving capital projects, so we’re developing that and we’ll take a look at it,” Riddell said.
The board will meet to discuss topics like finances and the curriculum, but current issues typically dictate a lot of the discussion.
“What’s the business of the college that needs to be addressed at this point in time? And that determines the agenda, to a certain extent,” Riddell said.