Spring 2021 Board Meeting Summary

The Bates Board of Trustees held its spring meeting virtually on Friday, May 7, 2021. Every standing committee of the Board met virtually over the course of the preceding weeks to conduct their work.

A major focus of this meeting was once again the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Bates community, operations, and finances, including how the college is continuing to keep its community safe and evolving plans for summer and fall.

The Board received the annual report from the Alumni Council, which was presented by Council President Jennifer Crawford ’01 and Vice President Kevin Moore ’93. President Spencer provided an update on Bates’ reaccreditation process, and Director of Athletics Jason Fein and members of his team presented on how athletics remained critical to the student experience and the important role played by the coaches and staff for continued operation of the college during the pandemic.  The Board also received a briefing on the financial status of the enterprise, which showed effective management of resources during the pandemic that reinforced Bates’ improving financial picture.

Trustees also heard updates on the Bates Campaign, the admission numbers to date for the Class of 2025, and capital planning, including the final stage of the Bonney Science Center. The Board was briefed on campus safety issues and their relationship to the college’s ongoing efforts in equity, inclusion, and antiracism.

Actions taken by the Board included approving proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook related to reappointment, tenure, and promotion that had previously been approved by the faculty, as well as changes to the bylaws to reflect current Board governance practices, such as the creation of the new Committee on Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism.

Trustees also took a number of important annual actions, including:

  • Voting of degrees for the Class of 2021, conditional on their completing all requirements of the degree and being voted by the Faculty
  • Approving the FY22 budget
  • Approving academic personnel appointments and reappointments
  • Re-electing seven Trustees to new five-year terms:
    • Chris G. Barbin ’93
    • Gregory A. Ehret ’91, P’23
    • David W. Longdon III ’14
    • Judith B. Miller ’91
    • John T. Rossello Jr.
    • Emma A. Sprague ’10
    • Lisa M. Utzschneider ’90
  • Electing officers of the corporation, Executive Committee members, and vice presidents for the 2021–22 academic year.
  • Formally acknowledging the service of Trustees retiring on June 30:
    • Darrell Crate ’89, P’22
    • Christopher Gorayeb ’80, P’20
    • Dervilla McCann ’77

The annual spring meeting between the Committee on Faculty Governance and Board leadership took place virtually, and designated faculty, staff, and students participated in relevant Trustee meetings. We regret that the virtual format of the spring meeting prevented in-person engagement between Trustees and members of the campus community, and look forward to resuming that important component of Board meetings when on-campus meetings are once again possible, hopefully in the fall of 2021.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for October 28–30, 2021.

Clayton Spencer

John Gillespie ’80, P’13, P’18
Chair of the Board of Trustees