Trustees allocate budget rollover, approve tenure

By Matea Wasend

Macalester’s Board of Trustees convened in Weyerhaueser last Friday in the first of three meetings for the 2011/2012 year. The trustees approved a number of motions unanimously, including renewing Macalester’s affiliation with the Presbyterian church and allocating funds from a $3.7 million budget surplus. They also approved a French professor for tenure. The board met for three committee meetings Thursday after an orientation for two of the three new trustees, Sandra Ortiz and Juan Rada, then reconvened at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning. At the Friday afternoon public session, President Brian Rosenberg skipped his usual “state of the college” address, citing time constraints. The board went on to pass a motion introduced by Timothy Hart-Andersen, which renews Macalester’s covenant with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies of the Presbyterian Church and supports what Hart-Andersen called the “lively religious life here.” “Our local people know how important this relationship is,” Hart-Andersen went on, because it brings a diversity of people in the Twin Cities in contact with Macalester. The board passed two motions from the Advancement committee, summed up by one trustee: “If we pass them, people will give us money.” They then approved the split-up of a $3.7 million budget surplus; among the allocations, $450,000 will go towards renovating the Alumni House, and $950,000 will be used to renovate the first floor of the Lampert Building. The trustees then moved to their executive session, which is not open to the public; Provost Kathleen Murray revealed that one of the decisions made behind closed-doors was to approve Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies Juliette Rogers for tenure. Murray publicly welcomed Rogers to the ranks of Macalester’s tenured professors at the faculty meeting on Tuesday. Rogers’ review was handled off-cycle from the rest of Macalester’s professors because she came to Macalester already having earned tenure at the University of New Hampshire. The other tenure decisions will not be announced for several months, Murray said. Student Liaison to the Board of Trustees Igor Stanceric ’12 provided some insight into the rest of the board meetings. The Academic Affairs committee discussed tenure plans—5 other faculty members are up for tenure this year, and 15 are up for faculty review—and the progress of the Janet-Wallace construction, which is proceeding on time and slightly under budget. The Campus Life committee saw presentations on the “current state of the student body” from Stanceric and MCSG President Kathy Kim ’12, followed by a discussion of Macalester’s multi-faith atmosphere. The Advancement and Capital Campaign committees joined to celebrate the successful completion of the Capital Campaign, which has surpassed its goal of $150 million two months ahead of schedule. The messages weren’t only of praise, however; the trustees acknowledged that “the work is not over and we still have a lot to do,” said Stanceric. For instance, the Janet Wallace project is still missing about $2.3 million to fund construction of the art building.