Board of Trustees to meet this weekend

By Kristin Riegel

Macalester’s Board of Trustees will meet on campus today and tomorrow to finalize spending plans for a $988,000 budget surplus carried over from the 2005-2006 academic year, give final approval to the college’s forthcoming athletic facility and appoint two new trustees.

The Board will have an open meeting this afternoon from 3:30 to 4pm in the Weyerhaeuser Boardroom.

The Board of Trustees, which meets three to four times each year, will also hear reports from the Board’s 11 committees.

The Board, a group of 27, includes alumni, the college president and a representative from the Presbyterian church. Trustees, who serve three-year terms, are often nominated by officers of the Macalester Alumni Association. The Board sets “broad policy” for the college rather than having a strong hand in “day-to-day” management, according to Trustee by-laws.

The majority of the 2005-2006 surplus, $730,000, has already been directed toward paying for a house Macalester purchased on the edge of campus earlier this year. The remaining money, approximately $258,000, is expected to be added to the endowment and partially dispensed so that science faculty members can purchase laboratory equipment.

Each Trustee serves on one or more committees that focus on a specific aspect of Macalester. These committees include Advancement, Building and Grounds, Technology, Finance, Academic Affairs, Admissions, and Campus Life. Each committee includes members from the Board of Trustees, one or more faculty and/or staff members, and one or more student representatives appointed by student government. Students do not have voting power on these committees.

“The bulk of work done this weekend will be accomplished at individual committee meetings,” said Alexander “Sandy” Hill, Assistant to the College President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees. “The Board is not in a day-to-day management role. They do, however, hold the administration accountable.”

Lee A. Nystrom ’73, Senior Vice President of Aon Consulting, Inc. and father of Ali Nystrom ’10, and John Taft, President and CEO of RBC Dain Rauscher, will be inducted as new Trustees at the meeting.

Many returning Trustees were expected to attend yesterday’s groundbreaking for the new athletic center. Timothy D. Hart-Andersen, the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committees was scheduled to give the invocation at the event. Hart-Andersen is the Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.

Although the Board of Trustees is not a highly visible presence on campus, the board makes key policy decisions that impact the college.

“Our job is to provide the support students need to receive the finest education possible,” Hart-Andersen said.