President Anderson's Announcement
The Board of Regents concluded its October meeting at noon today. As always, our Regents engaged in thoughtful discussion about the future of our College and how best to ensure it.
At the meeting, the Chair of the Board of Regents, O. Jay Tomson '58 and his wife, Pat '59, announced a gift of $5 million for the renovation of the old science building. Quite frankly, this transformative gift changed, as it was intended to, the discussion about the renovation of the old science building. The result was a decision by the Board to proceed with that project immediately. The balance of the cost will be funded by additional gifts, revenue generated from the College's operations, and perhaps a modest amount of borrowing. The renovated building should be occupied by Interim, 2011.
This was a pivotal Board meeting. The renovation of old science completes a series of major capital projects that have re-shaped and re-positioned St. Olaf, including the construction of Regents Hall, Buntrock Commons, and the Tostrud Center as well as the renovations of Dittmann, Boe Chapel, and old music. Finishing these projects frees the College now to turn its focus and energy to investing in the people and programs that fill these buildings with intellectual and spiritual energy.
To that end, the Board began a discussion about strategic planning. You will be hearing much more about this as time passes and there will be ample opportunities to participate in that conversation. The Board's initial step was to name a small "pre-planning" committee that includes Board members, the faculty observer to the Board, and the chair of the Board of Regents Student Committee. This group will come back to the Board at its February meeting with thoughts on how best to conduct the planning exercise.
The Board also approved the operating budget for the current fiscal year. We are well into the year, of course, but the Board always waits to approve the final budget until we know our enrollment results. The good work of everyone in the community who contributed to our successful recruitment of the Class of 2013 and the good stewardship that the community has demonstrated by controlling our operating costs has resulted in a manageable budget that supports the programs of the College.
On a crisp autumn afternoon, I hope that this report fills you with pride in our College and confidence in its future.
David R. Anderson '74
St Olaf College
Northfield, MN 55057