Trustees Approve Project Funds, Get Campaign News

Trustees Approve Project Funds, Get Campaign News

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

The Board of Trustees authorized expenditures for several building and capital projects, and heard an update on the Ever to Excel Campaign at its Dec. 3 meeting.

The board unanimously approved a total of $30.6 million for a variety o f projects, including the purchase of computing and administrative equipment, and the upgrading of various campus classrooms and laboratories. Also included are funds for the continuing renovation of the Flynn Recreation Complex and for the fourth phase of an effort to upgrade 17 residence halls.

Ever to Excel Campaign Co-chairman John Connors Jr. reported that the campaign got off to "a great launch" at the Nov. 6 kick-off event on campus, which included the announcement of a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor. With about $170 million already received, he said, "We are well on our way to our goal of $400 million."

Connors noted that the campaign has received some 59,000 checks from individuals and organizations so far. "We're very excited about what this portends for the future of the University," he said.

In his report to the board, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, offered an update on the implementation of the Vatican document Ex Corde Ecclesiae , which was approved by American bishops last month. Fr. Leahy said nothing in the document alters Boston College's commitment to a diverse University community. He said Boston College will continue to be a university that is inviting to faculty, staff and students of all religious beliefs.

Richard Horan, a member of the board's Buildings and Properties Committee, said the Higgins Hall renovation and expansion project is proceeding on time and within budget. He added that the proposed Lower Campus office building is in the final stages of design, and that the University is now engaged in a master-planning process with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Finance and Audit Committee member John Farrell offered updates on various capital projects and said the University is Y2K-compliant.

Thomas Vanderslice, chairman of the board's Academic Affairs Committee, said the committee is working with the administration to begin a benchmarking study that will compare BC to its competitors with the goal of producing a plan for improving the University's position in national rankings.

Development Committee Chairman Patrick Carney said gifts to the University continue to increase, particularly from corporations and foundations. He said goals for increasing membership in the top giving societies are close to being realized.

Robert Morrissey, chairman of the Investment and Endowment Committee, said the University's endowment stands at $976 million.

Student Life Committee Chairman Brian Paulson, SJ, reported on his committee's meeting with student leaders, which included an update on diversity efforts.

The board also heard a presentation by Lynch School of Education Dean Mary Brabeck, who highlighted the myriad research and outreach projects underway at the school.

Brabeck said that the school's undergraduate applicant acceptance rate is growing increasingly selective, and that, counter to a national trend, graduate applications are on the rise. She also noted that external research support has increased dramatically since the mid-1980s.

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