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Corporation to discuss strategic plan, infrastructure changes

Budget deficit, sexual assault also slated as topics of conversation at this weekend’s meeting

The Corporation will review the ongoing implementation of President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan and consider the construction of a new Division of Applied Mathematics building at its meeting this weekend, said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations.

This weekend marks one year since the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, approved the strategic plan, “Building on Distinction.”

Provost Vicki Colvin will update Corporation members on headway made on the plan, including in one of its main areas of focus: integrative scholarship. The seven themes under this section of the plan explore ways to improve many aspects of the student and faculty experience.  Colvin will aim to address “where we are and what’s needed to support our progress,” Quinn said, adding that Colvin will discuss initiatives such as new faculty hires. The capital campaign will factor into this more general discussion, Quinn said.

The Corporation’s Committee on Budget and Finance will decide whether to approve construction of a new applied math building, Quinn said. If approved, construction of the 13,000-square-foot building in the parking lot near Barus and Holley would begin in November and last roughly one year, The Herald previously reported.

Moving the Division of Applied Mathematics would provide space for the School of Engineering’s expected new building on Manning Walk, The Herald previously reported. Construction of the new engineering building is slated to start in December and conclude by 2018.

Stephen Maiorisi, vice president of Facilities Management, will also speak to the Corporation, informing the members about ongoing infrastructural developments, including the new engineering building and the South Street landing project in the Jewelry District, Quinn said.

Additionally, Dean of the College Maud Mandel will present on potential projects, including advising and engaged scholarship opportunities, Quinn said.

Corporation meetings, which are held triannually in October, February and May, are also when members review and accept gifts and donations to the University. The Board of Trustees will vote on the acceptance of a number of gifts at its Saturday meeting, Quinn said, though she declined to comment on any specific items or amounts.

The University’s budget deficit will continue to be a topic of conversation among Corporation members, Quinn said, adding that Colvin and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Beppie Huidekoper “will review options for addressing the structural deficit.” The reported $8.7 million operating budget deficit for fiscal year 2014 was almost double the University’s projection of a $4.4 million deficit during the same period.

To address this problem, a Deficit Reduction Working Group will convene to examine the University’s structural operating deficit of approximately $10 million per fiscal year, Paxson announced in a community-wide email Wednesday.

Corporation members will also discuss the in-progress review of the University’s sexual assault policies and the Task Force on Sexual Assault, Quinn said.

The task force, whose membership was finalized last month, is set to complete a review of sexual assault policies in the Code of Student Conduct and propose changes to these policies by December.

This weekend marks the first time the Corporation will meet following the University’s coming under national scrutiny for its handling of sexual assault cases, initiated by Lena Sclove ’15.5, who publicly spoke of her difficulties with the University’s disciplinary process in April. Since then, Sclove has filed charges against the University for Title IX and Clery Act violations, and the Department of Education named the University as one of 85 institutions under investigation for the mishandling of sexual assault cases.


A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Marisa Quinn said Maud Mandel would discuss integrated scholarship. In fact, it is engaged scholarship. The article also previously misquoted Quinn: She said administrators "will review options for addressing the structural deficit," not "the structure of the deficit." The Herald regrets the errors.

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