Trustees Meet

Board Hears Updates On Several Topics

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

The Board of Trustees heard of the University's strong financial position and welcomed new members at its Sept. 18 meeting in Burns Library.

Reports from the board's Financial and Audit, and Development committees indicated that Boston College enjoyed a successful 1998 fiscal year. R. Michael Murray, chairman of the Financial and Audit Committee, reported that as of May 31, 1998, the University's endowment stood at $813.5 million and Boston College's total net assets were valued at $1.045 billion, the first time that figure has stood above the $1 billion mark. He also noted that Boston College had attained a AA bond rating, placing it among just 23 colleges and universities nationally with AA or better ratings.

"We had a great year by any measure," Murray told the board.

The University enjoyed similar success in its fundraising for the year, reported Patrick Carney, chairman of the Development Committee. He noted that pledges and cash received by the University both set records at $62.6 million and $28.7 million, respectively. Membership in the President's Circle and Fides giving societies also rose, he added.

Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella updated the board on Project Delta activities. He noted the creation of the Student Services organization, Local Service Centers and the implementation of management reviews as examples of major steps taken to transform the administrative operation of the University. New Web-based student services are garnering a positive reaction from students, he added, and faculty members have new abilities to communicate with their students electronically.

Separately, Campanella was elected to another four-year term as EVP. The board also elected Charles Clough Jr. as its vice chairman and elected nine new members to its ranks [see accompanying story].

The Academic Affairs Committee welcomed new Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties David R. Burgess, who said that providing adequate space on campus for academic activity remains a challenge for the University.

Buildings and Properties Committee Chairman Thomas Flatley updated the board on several construction projects. He said the new classroom wing at the Law School is on budget and on schedule, as is the renovation and expansion of Higgins Hall. He said the office building proposed for Hammond Street has received necessary approvals from the City of Newton and the project is now in the permitting phase. At the committee's suggestion, the trustees voted to place the property at 1380 Soldiers Field Rd. in Brighton up for sale; Buildings and Grounds functions housed there will be shifted to campus.

The Student Life Committee heard a "very professional" presentation from the leadership of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, said committee Chairman Michael D. Jones. Academic advising, voluntarism and efforts begun by the students to address behavioral issues were discussed, he said.

In his report to the board, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, reflected on his first two years at BC and outlined his views on where the University is now and where it is heading. He touched on BC's Catholic and Jesuit identity, the campus culture and space issues.

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