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Beloit College Board of Trustees convenes for winter meeting

This article was originally printed in the Feb. 11, 2019 issue of The Round Table. 

From Thursday, Feb. 7 through Saturday, Feb. 9, the Beloit College Board of Trustees gathered in Beloit for their annual winter meeting. The meeting was the second of three yearly meetings that the board uses to discuss the state of affairs at Beloit and other pressing issues facing the college.

Highlights from the weekend included two occasions in which trustees were able to meet with representatives, including students, from several departments across the college. At 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, students and trustees mingled and exchanged thoughts on the school during a reception and dinner at Merrill and Houston’s Steak Joint at the Ironworks Hotel. Trustees present at the event included Stopher Bartol’88, Michael Doyle, Jo Froman’69, Judy Miller’72, Margaret Robinson’74, Jim Ferwerda’53 and Chair of the Board of Trustees Dick Niemec’65.

On Friday at noon, students had another chance to interact with trustees during the trustees’ lunch with student and faculty board representatives, which took place in the Science Center atrium. The lunch was followed by the full board meeting in which all trustees were present.

Later in the day on Friday, trustees toured the Powerhouse. Construction on the Powerhouse continues in anticipation of its official grand opening this October. A reception and dinner was held at Beloit College President Scott Bierman’s house after the tour.

The trustees meeting also included presentations from and discussion with Beloit College’s various committees. The Budget and Planning Committee met from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday to provide updates on the college’s plan for debt restructuring and deficit reduction.

Three more committees convened from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. The Learning and Teaching Committee discussed student recruitment and retention, as well as faculty reappointment, tenure and promotion, namely the expected decrease in full-time tenure-track faculty for the 2019-2020 school year. The Campaigns Committee covered topics such as alumni engagement and fundraising, while Audit and Risk Management Committee gave Powerhouse updates.

The last of the committees met on Saturday morning. The Enrollment and Management Committee provided updates on enrollment management as well as communications and marketing initiatives. The Physical Asset Management Committee meeting including a tour of on-campus bar C-Haus, which is currently undergoing renovations. The Financial Asset Management Committee and Trusteeship Committee also convened on Saturday.

Each committee submitted a report to the Board of Trustees in advance of the meeting.

The meeting also included two executive sessions– one on Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and another on Saturday from 10:15 a.m. to noon– in which Bierman met with the board of trustees directly.

The Beloit College Board of Trustees typically meet three times per school year: once in October shortly before fall break, once in February, and again in May as the year concludes. Elections for board positions and committees often take place during these meetings; at the October meeting, Niemec was appointed the new Chair of the Board after the former Chair Bartol stepped down.

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