In addition to tuition increases, there were several developments during the Board of Trustees’ third quarterly meeting on Feb. 26.
The meeting began with Board Chair Molly Mahoney Matthews acknowledging the presence of several prospective Trustees.
The Board will be experiencing a 20 percent changeover, though the new members will still need to be appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley before the next Board meeting in May.
Faculty Senate President Bob Paul, in discussing the tuition increase and the sustainability of the academic program, pointed out that St. Mary’s professors’ salaries are at the median of those of the College’s peer and aspirant peer institutions.
This lack of competitive salaries causes difficulties in attracting prospective faculty members, though he thanked the Board for increasing salaries for Assistant Professors at the last Board meeting.
Paul also addressed the recent speculation concerning online courses, letting the Board know that faculty were concerned such “quick fixes” to the increasing budget “do not reflect what is best of the St. Mary’s.”
Student Trustee Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall, senior, introduced Alex Walls, sophomore, as the next academic year’s Student Trustee-in-training.
Among tuition concerns, Ruthenberg-Marshall acknowledged the worries some students have about free services gaining new charges, specifically the new fee for official transcripts.
He also conveyed the student population’s excitement towards the recent increased internet speeds and the opening of the campus pub later in the semester.
Michael P. O’Brien, ‘68, reported for the Community Relations Committee, announcing that work had been completed to ensure that the Governor’s Cup remains cost neutral.
He also discussed the concerns many have about SlackWater’s loss of funding, calling the journal “very popular” among the community members.
Enrollment and Student Affairs Committee Chair Neil Irwin, ‘00, reported that Director of the Peace Corps Aaron Williams will be unable to be the Commencement Speaker for 2011.
Williams was asked to travel abroad by President Barack Obama shortly before Commencement, meaning Deputy Director of the Peace Corps Carrie Hessler-Radelet will be speaking instead.
Cindy Broyles, ‘79, spoke for the Development Committee, announcing that there was 100 percent Board participation in donations to the College for this fiscal year, raising over $200,000.
Peg Duchesne, Co-Chair of the Inaugural Committee, announced that Governor O’Malley will be unable to attend the Maryland Day celebration and President Joseph Urgo’s inauguration.
However, she updated the Board on the several activities planned for the four-day long event.
In closing a meeting that Matthews said involved very “difficult discussions on tuition,” Executive Director of Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) Regina Fadden let the Board know that HSMC was voted as being the number one place to walk in the United States.
“We beat the Grand Canyon,” she pointed out.
The next Board of Trustees General Session will be held May 13 in Glendening Annex at 3 p.m. All General Sessions are open to the public and College community members are encouraged to attend.