University News

Corporation set to discuss budget, strategic plan

Vote on annual budget, annual tuition rates and financial aid on the table for first 2014 meeting

By and
University News Editors
Friday, February 7, 2014

The Corporation will vote on approving the University’s annual budget, consider raising tuition and debate expanding financial aid at its meeting this weekend, said Russell Carey, executive vice president for planning and policy.

The Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, will also discuss the implementation of President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan, Carey said.

This is the first Corporation meeting since October, when the body approved the strategic plan — Paxson’s blueprint for the University’s next decade — and decided not to divest endowment assets from major coal companies.

The Corporation will consult a report by the University Resources Committee that recommends whether and how much to increase tuition and financial aid, Carey said.

Recognition of the current $4.3 million deficit “was infused in the discussion of the URC throughout the fall, and will be reflected in the report,” he said. “That’s something that the Corporation, just like the rest of the campus, grapples with all of the time.”

Last year, the Corporation approved a 4 percent hike in undergraduate tuition and fees — the largest rise in three years — and a nearly 6 percent increase in financial aid. Carey declined to predict the Corporation’s decision on tuition and fees this year.

In the typical format for its February gathering, the Corporation split up for committee meetings yesterday and will convene for a “strategic discussion” meeting today, Carey said. A budget vote  will occur at a formal business meeting Saturday, as will decisions on faculty tenure and hiring decisions.

The strategic plan’s implementation will figure as a “major topic” throughout the weekend, Carey said. For instance, the plan’s proposal to increase internship opportunities for students who receive financial aid was likely to drive discussion at the Committee on Campus Life’s meeting Thursday and at the larger meeting today, Carey said earlier this week.

“It’s still early in the strategic planning process,” Carey added, noting that only four months have passed since the plan was approved.

The Corporation will also discuss the ongoing searches for a new provost and dean of the College, Carey said, though the members will not discuss these processes “at the level of individual candidate” selections this weekend.

Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron left to become president of Connecticut College Jan. 1, while Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 will assume the presidency of the University of Michigan July 1.

The Corporation has an active stake in the searches to fill these two roles, Carey said, adding that the body will ultimately be tasked with final approval of the two appointed administrators once the search committees have chosen their candidates.

Biannual meetings of the Corporation often coincide with ceremonies and special events, but Carey said no such plans have been made for this weekend’s gathering. Many Corporation members will attend the celebrations for the University’s 250th anniversary in March, he said, adding that funding for the anniversary events has already been established through financial savings.

The Corporation will likely approve a number of gifts to the University, Carey said, but he declined to comment on the specifics or financial total of any donations.

  • Tay Park

    Wrong language: “They will discuss this. They will discuss that. They will not discuss this and that.”

    Right language and action: “They have done this. They have done that. These are the results.”

    Paxson is a losing proposition.