Board of Directors could announce major name change efforts on Friday – The GW Hatchet
The board could announce whether it will rename the Marvin Center and the Colonials nickname and finalize the budget for the coming fiscal year at its open meeting on Friday.
Board committees were Meet earlier this month, but Friday’s public session with the full Council comes as the working groups studying the Marvin Center building name and the Colonials nickname finish working on their recommendations. Friday’s meeting is the last scheduled public meeting of the board before the conclusion of their routine examination of the President of Thomas LeBlanc University.
The meeting also comes as officials prepare their budget proposal for FY2022 – which has sparked disagreements with faculty over spending priorities – and as officials finalize a master plan for the blueprint. of campus.
Here’s what to watch out for on Friday:
Changes to the name Marvin Center or the nickname Colonials
The Council developed a framework to consider requests to rename campus buildings and the Colonials nickname last June, and LeBlanc announced the creation of two committees to study the Marvin Center and Colonials nickname the following month.
Since then, the committees have worked to study historical documents on the two subjects to ultimately make naming recommendations, which could be forwarded to the Board of Directors, a decision which could be announced on Friday.
LeBlanc said earlier this year that he expected the appointment task forces to finalize their recommendation this spring. Officials have since declined to comment on committee work until the council’s final announcement.
“The final decision on the recommendation will be made and announced by the board of directors,” LeBlanc said in an interview in January. “We probably won’t comment along the way. It’s a process that really ends up being a board decision, and there’s not much to say in the middle of the process, but obviously we will keep the community updated on the progress of these committees.
GW community members also submitted six additional name changes requests over the past year for buildings like Fulbright and Madison Halls. LeBlanc said in January that officials plan to move forward with considering additional claims after announcing decisions for the Marvin Center and Colonials nickname.
The budget for fiscal year 2022
Faculty expressed concerns last month that the proposed budget for the coming year should allocate more money for research funding instead of setting aside money for a surplus, given the delays in research possibilities during the pandemic. Higher education experts said an investment in a surplus could also benefit long-term faculty research efforts, and officials said they viewed the coming year’s budget as a ” year of transition ”towards normality.
“We understand that there is still a lot of uncertainty going forward that we need to consider in our planning, and we don’t plan to suddenly revert to pre-pandemic operations or pre-pandemic budgets,” LeBlanc said in an interview in April.
Joseph Cordes, chair of the Faculty’s Senate Budget and Budget Planning Committee and professor of economics, said at this month’s Senate meeting that officials have been working to make adjustments to the budget in recent weeks and that Council would approve the budget shortly.
CFO Mark Diaz said in April that officials plan to submit a FY2022 budget proposal ahead of the May board meeting, when they typically approve the budget. The council delayed its vote to pass the budget at last year’s May meeting amid financial uncertainty over the pandemic, later choosing to give officials interim budget clearance once the fiscal year has begun.
He said Ellen Zane, vice chair of the board and chair of the board’s finance and investment committee, will likely provide an update on “budget plans” at her meeting this Friday.
Last open session for administrators before the end of LeBlanc’s exam
Faculty confidence in LeBlanc has waned this year as tensions between the GW community and LeBlanc culminated in a survey this winter of full-time faculty on university leadership. The faculty shared “overwhelmingly negative” views on academic leadership – their main concern at GW – and a slim majority had lost confidence in LeBlanc.
The Senate responded late last month by passing a resolution expressing “serious concerns” about the ability of university leaders to advance GW’s mission and vision.
This spring, the Board has been pushing through its standard review of the president before deciding whether or not to renew his contract, and Friday’s meeting will be the last scheduled public meeting before they make their decision. LeBlanc said last month that officials shared the survey results with the Association of University and College Boards of Governors external consultant who is working with the board to conduct their review.
The board has largely supported LeBlanc amid these tensions, but Friday’s meeting is the first public meeting of the board after the faculty Senate provided trustees with the results of the poll, aimed at gathering the feeling of teachers before the board exam.
“Leading a vibrant and diverse university community with many different and strong opinions is a challenge at the best of times, and these have been some of the most difficult and difficult times we have ever known,” said the Board Chair. Grace Speights to LeBlanc during a final meeting. October. “The Board of Directors appreciates and supports the exceptional work you and your management team have done in navigating circumstances like we have never experienced before.”
Main campus planning
Cordes, the faculty senator, said at this month’s senate meeting that administrators would also be considering a master plan for the campus master plan, as officials held workshops with students to gather feedback on potential changes such as the addition of a dining hall on the Foggy Bottom campus.
“It’s really looking at the plans for the plans, it’s not the financial approval,” he said.
Cooper Robertson, the architecture and planning firm working with the University to develop the plan, held workshops with students in February 2020 to learn about campus features before proposing any potential changes.