May 21, 2023

Board of Trustees Concludes Final Meeting of 2022-23

The Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees met on-campus on May 4-5 for the final meeting of the year.

This was also the final board meeting with Stephanie Fowler serving as chair of the board. In addition to participating in the grand opening of the renovated Stephanie Fowler Student Center, the board recognised Chair Fowler with an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree in recognition of her six years of service as chair and 19 years as a member of the board.

The board approved the recommended budget for FY 2023-24. The budget includes an eight and half percent increase in expenses from the previous year, reflecting both strategic investments and inflationary pressures. The board recognized and noted that lower-than-expected undergraduate enrollment for the fall will require adjustments to the budget going forward.

The board participated in a detailed conversation regarding President Robin Holmes-Sullivan’s Community Dialogues Initiative. This ongoing program is intended to make healthy, constructive dialogue a part of our identity as an institution, and the foundation of how we relate to each other in community in both informal and formal settings. This initiative is strongly supported by the board as critical to both Lewis & Clark and to society.

The Academic Affairs Committee was updated about faculty hiring across all three schools, and had an in-depth presentation regarding the new Lewis & Clark Advocacy Center, which will deliver training in advocacy to law students.

The Campus Life Committee discussed the new Committee on Student Success, the scope of student indebtedness, and planning related to the student experience in the Stewart and Odell residence halls once they are reopened in the fall.

The Institutional Advancement Committee was introduced to our new Vice President of Communication Lori Friedman, did a deep dive into data regarding alumni and donor engagement, and continued its work preparing for the next philanthropic campaign.

The Buildings and Grounds committee did not meet, but trustees instead took a tour of campus to review ongoing capital projects and to discuss needed investments going forward.

The Investments Committee met earlier in the week and discussed the College’s ongoing commitment to integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into investment management. In particular, the committee discussed the College’s “net zero” policy, which advances the objective of having a society that no longer contributes additional greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere by 2050 (with significant reductions in the next decade). The policy commits the College to reducing emissions in the portfolio by 50 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040. The 2040 date is more aggressive than the emerging standard (2050), but is in line with our role as a leader in sustainability. The policy also commits to investing at least five percent of the endowment portfolio in climate solutions, which are investments that have the reduction or removal of greenhouse gas emissions as a core part of their strategy.