Report on March 8-10, 2013 Board of Trustees Meetings

Posted: March 27, 2013

To the Scripps College Community,

As we return from spring break, I would like to update you on progress in key areas of the College that may be of interest to all of you. I also want to invite you to a community meeting on April 4 at 4:15 p.m. in the Humanities Auditorium.

As many of you know, we recently held our annual Board of Trustees retreat at Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs, and received overwhelmingly positive responses about the weekend. Here are some of the highlights:

Comprehensive Campaign goal; priorities and objectives

The Board of Trustees approved a Comprehensive Campaign, with an outlined set of priorities and objectives, and announced a total of $70 million in giving toward the goal, $38 million of which has been committed by trustees. The public phase will begin in November of this year. As many of you are aware, Scripps College alumna and communications strategist Andrea Jarrell ’84 and Pentagram design firm partner Michael Bierut are collaborating on the marketing strategy for the Campaign.

Approval of the 2013-14 Budget

At the April 4 community meeting, we will present the 2013-14 budget, which the Board of Trustees approved. The budget was developed by the on-campus Budget and Planning Committee, Senior Staff, and myself, and recommended to the Board by the Finance Committee.

Approval of the Debt Plan

The Board approved entering into a lending commitment with First Republic Bank that allows the College to borrow funds on very favorable terms to finance the purchase of 11.47 acres north of Foothill. This is a great opportunity to obtain long-term, inexpensive financing, primarily for real estate projects, with no commitment to borrow.

Approval of Design Development for new residence hall

The Board conditionally approved the design development phase of the new residence hall, recognizing that it meets our programmatic and aesthetic needs, but that costs exceed our current budget; further decisions will be made when we have a funding plan for this project in place. It will be a beautiful addition to our historic campus. As part of the Comprehensive Campaign, the College will continue to fundraise for the resources we need to move forward with the project. The target funding objective for the project was increased from $16.2 million to $18 million, and we are offering naming opportunities to help attract donors.

Denison Library renovation

The Denison Library has been in need of HVAC/electrical infrastructure upgrading for some time. We are pleased to announce that the Board approved moving forward with the necessary renovations using funds from the Reserve for Depreciation.

Faculty Personnel Actions

I am very pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees approved the promotion of Associate Professor of History Andrew Aisenberg to Professor. Professor Aisenberg is an inspiring intellectual presence, highly valued by his students and his colleagues for his dedication to the intellectual mission of the College.

In addition to the Board Retreat, we have some other items of interest to report:

  • Thanks to the tireless work by Vice President for Communication and Marketing Marylou Ferry and her staff, Scripps College’s media visibility is expanding. Marylou and her team have had much success sharing the stories of our faculty, students, and alumnae, including securing interviews with Brad Pomerance of California Edition, and initiating coverage by CBS Radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, and other important outlets. Total coverage for the year to date is already over 8 million media impressions.
  • I’m also happy to report that the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII board of directors and the CASE Awards of Excellence Committee recognized Scripps College with two  2013 Gold Awards for The Scripps College Academy – 10 years of Empowering Young Scholars report, and for our Admission recruitment booklet featuring Scripps’ “Rosie the Riveter” on the cover; a Silver Award for the spring 2012 Scripps Magazine on art; and a Bronze Award for the Scripps College Honor Roll of Donors.
  • To better serve the campus community, the Office of Student Affairs is initiating a series of program reviews of all departments, beginning this spring with SCORE (Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment), TFH (Tiernan Field House), and CP&R (Career Planning and Resources). External review teams have been invited to campus and will be meeting with various constituencies on the following dates:
    • SCORE: Thursday-Friday, April 4-5
    • TFH: Monday-Tuesday, April 15-16
    • CP&R: Fall 2013, date to be announced

    Students have been invited to complete a survey on all three departments that is due April 1. Open meetings with external reviewers will be announced after spring break.

As a final note, I encourage you to attend at least some of the many 5C activities celebrating Cesar Chavez day in the coming weeks.

These are just some of the most notable events which increase our recognition of academic achievement, our commitment to women’s leadership, and our aspiration for excellence, all supported by a positive community whose time and energy help make Scripps College one of the premier women’s colleges in the world. I look forward to seeing you at the April 4 community meeting, and greatly appreciate all of your efforts to make Scripps successful!


Lori Bettison-Varga

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