Below is a report written by sophomore Senator Sruthi Doniparthi. Senators are appointed by the General Assembly of Student Senate to attend as an observer to the Board of Trustees Meetings that take place each term. These meetings took place on Feb. 21 and 22.
Board of Trustees Meeting Summary
By Sruthi Doniparthi
Feb. 21-22 were when I got a second look into the future of Knox College. Many of the committees and departments are restructuring to focus on strategic goals that will bring Knox into the 21st century.
This meeting focused more on which direction Advancement should pursue in order to get enough funding to support the programs and changes Knox wants to pursue.
- Project/goal based campaigns would attract young alumni to donate since they will know exactly what their money is going to.
- Older alumni are more likely to donate via the general website after receiving magazines and other information about Knox.
- Keep alumni connected, making it easier to maintain relationships between them and current students for internships, advice, job search help, etc.
The committee also discussed how Knox ranks compared to other schools in our group of schools concluding that advancement efforts are extremely good, seeing this office consists of only 18 people compared to Carlton College’s 40+. The board also concluded that getting dollars is more important than participation among alumni. However, they do acknowledge that if young alumni, like us after we graduate, donate small amounts every year when we are at a stage where we can give more, we will.
As seen this past week through the Thank Knox Days, alumni play a major role in our ability to learn at Knox. Projects like Alumni Hall’s renovation and others that are being discussed are paid by them and will be paid by us.
Facilities & Infrastructure
Aside from the new improvements, this committee is taking a new turn that coincides with the Knox 2018 idea — to find ways to make the facilities more modern. The main thing to understand from any new project is that Knox pays for them with donor money, and the big donors usually only give when they see a plan in place: budgets, designs, proposals, etc. This committee works to talk to all the contractors and designers to bring our current and new buildings into the 21st century, with keeping the historic feel this campus already embodies.
Alumni Hall should be done by Homecoming 2014 for open houses
- The offices will move in during winter break so it can be functional spring term
Landscaping: ~ $500K
- A brighter, more modern building: ~ $40 million for full renovation.
- The preliminaries are beautiful
- They are trying to find money for better equipment first
Renovation of the Beta House
- There was discussion on if remodeling or a complete reconstruction is cheaper but they decided to remodel even though the pricing is comparable.
Other discussions revolved around what is the best way to use space, especially now since Alumni Hall will be the home of many current offices and spaces (like the Lincoln room). They also talked about some possible acquisitions for new residence halls but there still needs to be much more discussion about it. Steve Hall is attempting to get wireless to Knox students off campus so it would be as if they are using internet on campus. Froggi van Riper, the new Sustainability Initiatives Director introduced herself and talked about her experience. The board is looking forward to working with her.
Knox Strategic Planning
Perhaps the most important part of the meetings were the discussions about Knox 2018 and bring this college into the 21st century. It’s understandable to be skeptical about whether everything that is being talked about will actually happen but from seeing the enthusiasm of all the board, faculty who lead the group meetings and especially Teresa Amott and others at her level, it really is believable. There was discussion about goals from every committee about what must be changed. The plethora of perspectives did help the board direct their goals in a way to include everyone. The next step is taking the goals and consolidating them (which the president, vice president and others are already working on) and have a prioritized list by the board’s June meeting for them to approve.
Everyone keep a look out for information about Strategic Planning and how Knox is changing and share your opinions! Whether you believe it or not, the administration truly does listen to them. Then when you come back, you can say you were a part of the great change that you will see.