Tag Archive for Board of Trustees

Wesleyan Vows to Divest from Fossil Fuel Investments by the End of the Decade

At its most recent meeting on Feb. 29, the Wesleyan Board of Trustees discussed how to better align endowment investment practices with the University’s broad sustainability efforts.

In a recent campus-wide email, President Michael Roth ’78 and Board of Trustees Chair Donna Morea ’76, P’06 shared the following message:

Given the climate emergency, the investment and ecological risks associated with fossil fuels and the Investment Committee’s own environmental, social and governance guidelines, there was broad agreement among trustees not to make new fossil fuel investments and to wind down current investments in this sector as quickly as possible while minimizing the negative impact to the value of the endowment. The University will be divested from direct fossil fuel investments by the end of the decade.

Wesleyan has already made a climate commitment aiming at carbon neutrality and will now be accelerating work in this direction. This weekend, the Board authorized the first phase of converting our energy infrastructure from steam to hot water. When complete, this project will reduce Wesleyan’s carbon footprint by thousands of metric tons per year.

Wesleyan Welcomes Alumni, Parent to the Board of Trustees

Five Wesleyan alumni and one parent were recently elected to the Board of Trustees.

The board is the governing body of the University and responsible for ensuring that the University fulfills its mission, sustains its values, and appropriately balances its obligations to current and future generations. The board establishes long-term strategic policy and direction; approves the University’s budget and major financial expenditures, program initiatives, and construction projects; oversees the University’s financial affairs; stewards the University’s endowment and other capital resources; and appoints and supervises the president of the University.

The board is composed of up to 33 trustees, a diverse group of leaders in their respective fields who are united by a deep affection for and commitment to the institution.

The new members include:

Adam Bird

Adam Bird

Adam C. Bird ’87, P’19, ’22 is a senior partner with McKinsey & Company and the global leader of the Consumer Tech & Media practice, advising top management of the most disruptive (and disrupted) companies. A board member of the Paley Center for Media, he is past vice chair of the board of the Munich International School, and was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. At Wesleyan, he was a College of Social Studies major, a student representative to the Board of Trustees, and graduated with honors. He is also the father of Matthew ’19 and Sophie ’22.

John Frank ’78, P’12 Named Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees

John Frank '78, P '12

John Frank ’78, P ’12

At its May 24 meeting on campus, Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees elected John B. Frank ’78, P’12 as Chair of the Board for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2020.

Frank, who currently serves as chair of the Board’s Investment Committee, will succeed Donna Morea ’76, P’06, who will step down in June 2020 after four years as Chair and 12 years on the Board. The Board will, once again, follow the tradition that started with Morea of choosing a Board Chair-elect a year in advance in order to provide for a smooth and successful transition period.

“John Frank is an accomplished leader in the financial sector. More personally, he is an active listener and an astute observer,” said Alford Young, Jr. ’88, chair of the Board Governance Committee. “He knows when to lead and when to stand in support of other leaders. John will bring this blend of characteristics and much more to his service as Board Chair.”

President Roth Presents Beyond 2020: Strategies for Wesleyan

wes2020In May 2010, the Board of Trustees adopted Wesleyan 2020 as a tool for strategic decision making at Wesleyan. Reflecting the input of faculty, trustees, staff, alumni and students, and designed to be flexible, this framework for planning has assisted the University in making decisions about the allocation of resources since that time.

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth has provided an update, Beyond 2020: Strategies for Wesleyan, organized under the rubric of Wesleyan’s three overarching goals: to energize Wesleyan’s distinctive educational experience; to enhance recognition of Wesleyan as an extraordinary institution; and to work within a sustainable economic model while retaining core values. Beyond 2020 outlines new investments Wesleyan can make to ensure that the university remains at the forefront of innovative, pragmatic and progressive education.

“It has become ever clearer to me,” says Roth, “that our university can continue to represent something relevant and admirable in American higher education—not just for our own alumni and friends but for a much broader constituency. Our ‘bold and rigorous’ work will add substantial value to our diplomas and has the potential to make a lasting contribution to our country and beyond. We are in a much better position now than we were a decade ago to make the investments required to make this happen.”

Roth said he will be discussing the goals of Beyond 2020 during the current academic year with various university constituencies on campus and off.

Board of Trustees Sets 2016-17 Student Charges

At its meeting Feb. 27, the Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition and residential comprehensive fees by 3.3 percent for the 2016-17 year. Tuition will be $50,312 for all undergraduate students. The residential comprehensive fee will be $13,950 for first-year and sophomore students, and $15,858 for juniors and seniors.

For the past three years, Wesleyan has linked tuition increases to the national CPI average as part of an initiative to address affordability. That effort has been successful, resulting in very low tuition increases compared to most peer institutions. In recent years, we have seen increased pressure on our financial aid program, and this year, we have awarded a record amount of financial aid. In order to continue supporting financial aid, as well to invest in high-quality faculty and innovative pedagogy and programs, the board has adopted an increase modestly above the current inflation rate, and in line with our peers. As always, Wesleyan will meet the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. Recent initiatives have eliminated loans for our neediest students and lowered overall student debt to levels far below the national average.

Wesleyan’s major fundraising campaign, wrapping up successfully this year, has seen the creation of 120 new endowed scholarships, and over $227 million in new endowment and annual funding to support financial aid.

As part of its affordability program, Wesleyan continues to offer the three-year BA option, announced in 2012 with the potential to save students about 20 percent on tuition. Since then, Wesleyan has seen a significant increase in the number of students taking advantage of this program.

Donna Morea is Chair-elect of the Board of Trustees

Donna Morea '76, P'06

Donna Morea ’76, P’06

Wesleyan University’s Board of Trustees has elected Donna Morea ’76, P’06 as Chair of the Board for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2016. The election took place at the Board’s meeting on campus May 22.

Morea will succeed Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09, who will step down in June 2016 after 7 years as Chair.

“The Board asked Joshua to continue his leadership through the conclusion of the capital campaign and he has graciously agreed,” said Shonni Silverberg ’76, chair of the Board’s Governance Committee. “He and his fellow Board members felt it would be advantageous to elect his successor now for a transition year as Board Chair-elect.

“Donna brings to her role as Board Chair extensive experience in managing complex organizations, combined with considerable financial savvy and a warm and engaging style,” Silverberg added.

Morea is an internationally recognized executive in the IT services and software communities. She is currently the CEO of Adesso Group, a private consulting and advisory firm, helping businesses develop growth strategies and improve operational performance. She also serves as an independent director of SunTrust Bank (NYSE:STI) and SAIC (NYSE:SAIC).

In 2011, she retired from a successful 31-year career at American Management Systems (AMS) and CGI. As President of CGI Technologies and Solutions, she led CGI’s business in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Her clients included some of the world’s largest and most complex organizations in government, healthcare, financial services, and telecommunications.

Active in community service, she serves as a director of Share Our Strength, a global anti-hunger organization, and as a trustee of the Inova Health System, the largest health care provider in Northern Virginia. She is a chairman emeritus of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, serving more than 1,000 member companies.

Her service on Wesleyan’s Board has included chairing the Finance and University Relations committees. She received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan in 2006.

Board Resolution Speaks to Social Impacts of Investments

Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution Feb. 28 to consider “environmental, social or governance factors” as part of the university’s investment process.

The resolution speaks to concerns that students at Wesleyan and across the country have raised regarding investments in fossil fuel companies. Coal companies have been a particular focus because the burning of coal is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Board action – under consideration by its Investment Committee for some time – followed a meeting between the Investment Committee and the Committee for Investor Responsibility (CIR), composed of student, faculty and staff representatives.

The CIR urged divestment from any direct holdings in coal companies after examining the issue from social, economic and ethical perspectives.

While Wesleyan currently has no direct investments in coal, President Michael S. Roth said the resolution gives the Investment Committee broad flexibility and a framework to consider social impacts of investments – not limited to the particular issue of coal.

Specifically, the resolution states: “The Committee believes that thoughtful engagement on environmental, social and governance matters is consistent with enhancing long-term returns and with prudently managing the endowment for the long-term benefit of the university.”

In its resolution the committee cited The Ethical Investor as “a seminal work that helped define the role for university endowments, foundations and other organizations seeking to balance fiduciary and socially responsible goals as investors.” This work provides guidelines for evaluating social harm.

“Trustees were particularly appreciative of the nuanced and careful work done by the Committee for Investor Responsibility,” Roth said. “The Board would not have been in a position to adopt new language without the contributions of students on the committee.”

Trustees Approve 4.5% Increase in Student Charges; Financial Aid to Increase 11%

Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees voted on Feb. 25 to increase tuition and residential comprehensive fees by 4.5 percent for the 2012-13 academic year.

Continuing its commitment to a strong financial aid program, Wesleyan will increase its budget for aid by 11 percent over this year’s expenditures. Through grants and loans, Wesleyan meets the full demonstrated need of all students eligible for financial aid.

Tuition will be $45,358 for all students in 2012-2013. For freshman and sophomores, the residential comprehensive fee will be $12,574. For juniors and seniors, the fee will be $14,294. The higher residential comprehensive fee for juniors and seniors reflects the higher cost of the options available to them. Juniors and seniors have access to apartments and houses in addition to residence hall rooms. They also have greater flexibility in dining options.

“Wesleyan has continued to reduce annual expenses and operate as efficiently as possible,” says President Michael S. Roth. “As in the past, we are raising student charges by no more than required to sustain the high-quality liberal arts education that distinguishes Wesleyan. At the same time, we recognize that the cost of a Wesleyan education is a concern for many families, and we are looking hard at ways to make it more affordable.”

Applications to Wesleyan rose by 4.6 percent this year to a total 10,500 — a 47 percent increase since 2008 —  underscoring Wesleyan’s strong reputation and its appeal to top students across the country and around the world.

Wesleyan Announces Promotions Incurring Tenure

During the academic year, the Wesleyan Board of Trustees maintains an ongoing process of tenure case consideration. During its most recent review, the Board awarded tenure to two faculty effective July 1, 2010.

Matthew Kurtz, associate professor of psychology, was appointed assistant professor of psychology at Wesleyan in 2007. Previously, he has held appointments at the Institute for Living in Hartford, Trinity College, Hartford Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He has been awarded numerous grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Hartford Hospital and NARSAD.

His research focuses on schizophrenia, specifically the neurocognitive and psychosocial deficits of individuals diagnosed with the disease. His work has important clinical applications through the development of rehabilitation and treatment strategies that can enhance the success of those individuals in everyday life. Significantly, his research approach isolates the different ways in which the range of learning potentials among schizophrenic patients are affected so that treatments can be more effectively targeted. Kurtz has published 29 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Kurtz earned his B.A. in psychology at Reed College; his M.A. and Ph.D. are from Princeton University, in psychology and neuroscience.

Typhaine Leservot, associate professor in the College of Letters and of Romance Languages and Literatures, was appointed instructor in the College of Letters and of Romance Languages and Literatures in 2003 before becoming assistant professor of both a semester later. She previously served as a teaching fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her research addresses issues of globalization, gender, and the post-colonial experience within the large framework of French-language literary fiction. Her book, Le Corps mondialisé: Marie Redonnet, Maryse Condé, Assia Djebar (Paris, Harmattan, 2007), analyzes the fiction of three authors from France, North Africa, and the Caribbean, engaging them together as a way of bridging French studies and francophone studies in the context of globalization. She is also author of several articles and book chapters.

Leservot completed her undergraduate studies in English literature at Caen University (France), and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

As the Board continues its practice of reviewing additional cases for tenure throughout this academic year, more announcements may be forthcoming.

2 Board of Trustee Families Give $22M to Wesleyan

Wesleyan Board of Trustees Chair Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09 established the Joshua Boger University Professorship of The Sciences and Mathematics as part of a $12M gift to Wesleyan. Pictured, at left, Boger congratulates David Beveridge, professor of chemistry, who is the first recipient of the chair appointment.

Wesleyan Board of Trustees Chair Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09 established the Boger Scholarship Program and the Joshua Boger University Professorship of The Sciences and Mathematics as part of a $12M gift to Wesleyan. Pictured, at left, Boger congratulates David L. Beveridge, professor of chemistry, who is the first recipient of the endowed professorship appointment. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Wesleyan announced $22M in gifts by two of its Board of Trustees’ families, including a $12M gift by the family of Board Chairman Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09.

The gifts will benefit financial aid and Wesleyan’s endowment.

The $12M gift from Boger, and his wife Amy Boger, M.D., P’06, P’09, will establish the Boger Scholarship Program and the Joshua Boger University Professorship of The Sciences and Mathematics. The first recipient of the chair appointment will be David L. Beveridge, professor of chemistry.

“This gift shows tremendous leadership and generosity on the part of the Boger family,” says Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth ’78. “The endowed professorship in particular reinforces Wesleyan’s strong tradition in the sciences and mathematics. We thank the Bogers for their support of Wesleyan and their commitment to making it accessible to worthy students.”

Joshua Boger is the founder of Vertex Pharmaceuticals