By August Steigmeyer
Last Friday, Feb. 4, the Kenyon Board of Trustees approved the College’s budget for 2012, along with several other projects, including a plan to update the locks on apartment-style campus housing. Mark Kohlman, chief business officer, created a plan that would adapt the new K-Card lock policy recently implemented on the dorms for the New Apartments and Bexley Apartments.
The Board approved the change and allocated approximately $150,000 to the project. The College will install the new locks over spring break.
The regular trustee meetings in New York were canceled last week due to inclement weather across the country, but the Budget and Finance Committee spoke by conference call on Thursday to approve the College’s 2012 budget.
The full Board, which spoke by phone on Friday, took the committee’s recommendations and approved the budget.
Tuition and fees and the salary pool for employees will both be increasing next year under the new budget. Tuition fees are increasing by 4.5 percent, which is “the typical increase last year across the country,” according to President S. Georgia Nugent.
The employee salary pool will be two percent higher. The Board also allocated 1.2 percent of the budget to a pool that pays for faculty merit-based raises. Every seven years, faculty members are eligible for a merit raise after an evaluation of their teaching, research and service.
The College reported that the financing plan for completing the studio art building is “on track,” according to Nugent. Natalie Marsh, director of the center for the arts, presented a plan for a “statement of permanence” that many academic galleries are now adopting.
There have been past incidents in which colleges have sold art collections to balance their budgets. “It has long been the ethical practice of museums to not do that,” Nugent said. “When someone has given you a piece of art, it’s not fungible assets.” Under this commitment, the Kenyon art gallery can sell art, but the funds have to go towards supporting art through buying new pieces or otherwise benefiting the gallery.
Jennifer Delahunty, director of admissions, gave the Board an admissions update. Early admissions pools “were very strong” and the overall number of applications is up seven percent from last year.
Kenyon’s Capital Campaign is on track to meet its $230 million goal. So far, the campaign has raised $221 million. Donations to the Kenyon annual fund and parents fund are running ahead of last year’s number.
“Our parents’ fund is the largest of schools of our type in terms of participation and dollars raised,” Nugent said. “Kenyon parents are very fond of Kenyon.”
Last year, the Trustees raised $1 million for a matching fund if a donor increased his or her gift or gave for the first-time. 56 percent of donors increased gifts or made new gifts this year.
Several topics were tabled until the May meeting because of the inability to meet in person this month. These include a presentation on the current state of The Kenyon Reviewand a discussion about bringing back a chaplaincy to Kenyon.
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