University News

Corporation to discuss tuition, financial aid

The strategic planning process and creation of a school of public health also feature on the agenda

By and
University News Editors
Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Corporation will meet for the second time since Paxson’s inauguration and will discuss campus planning and technology-related issues.

The Corporation will address a host of priorities when it meets this weekend, including potential tuition and financial aid increases and the approval of the annual budget, said Russell Carey, executive vice president for planning and policy.

The meeting will mark the second time the Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — has convened since President Christina Paxson assumed office last summer.

The Corporation will assemble as a group Saturday morning, at which point members are expected to vote on the creation of a school of public health. The faculty voted to recommend establishing a separate public health school last fall. If approved by the Corporation, the program in public health would apply to the Council on Education for Public Health for accreditation this year.

As in past years, the Corporation will review a report from the University Resources Committee to consider whether and by how much to increase tuition for the next academic year, and members will also discuss how much money to allot to financial aid. Carey said he cannot predict what the Corporation will decide regarding tuition and fee increases.

The Corporation will also address the preliminary recommendations announced in interim reports released last month by Paxson’s six strategic planning committees, Carey said.

“There’s a significant part of the weekend when we’ll be engaging in discussions regarding the strategic planning process,” Carey said, adding that the Corporation will meet in a “retreat format” on Friday to engage in an in-depth review of the committees’ recommendations.

Carey said Corporation members will have the chance to provide feedback on the reports at the retreat gathering. He said he does not expect major action this weekend on the strategic planning process, noting that the Corporation is one of several bodies currently participating in the planning discussion.

As part of the strategic planning process, the Corporation will discuss the University’s physical growth as the strategic planning committees work on “re-imagining the campus,” Carey said. “Academic space needs of the campus are definitely part of the discussion,” he said.

The meeting last October coincided with Paxson’s inauguration as the 19th president of the University, but this weekend’s meeting will not feature any special commemorations, events or building dedications, Carey said. But the Corporation will participate in a dinner hosted for all members of the strategic planning committees, he said. Corporation members will also break out into committee meetings today and tomorrow.

An ad hoc planning committee focused on campus planning and growth and composed of Corporation members and alums will meet this weekend, Carey said. The other ad hoc committee, centered on digital technology, is still in the process of discussing and reacting to the interim reports, he added.

The latter committee is looking at a wide range of technology-related issues, which have permeated many aspects of the University, said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations. “It’s really grown so tremendously in even the last five years, even from a communications standpoint,” she said.

The Corporation is also expected to approve several gifts to the University, Carey said, though he does not know in advance what they might entail.

Though an impending snowstorm this weekend may bring one to two feet of snow and blizzard conditions to Providence, the University has not altered any plans for the weekend, Quinn wrote in a follow-up email to The Herald. Some Corporation members may have to alter their travel schedules in order to attend the meeting, she added. Forecasters have warned that the snowstorm, called Winter Storm Nemo, could result in widespread power losses in New England.

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