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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Trustees focus on SLRP II, budget at fall meeting

On Oct. 9, cars cluttered the parking lot on George Fox Road, leaving spaces scarce between Milner Hall and Ragsdale House. It was the last day of Guilford College’s Board of Trustees fall meeting.The Board of Trustees met Oct. 7-9, most notably making decisions involving the approval of Guilford’s second Strategic Long Range Plan (SLRP II), the finalization of the college’s budget for 2010-2011, and changes to Guilford’s bylaws in terms of trustee term limits.

The Board of Trustees, which meets three times a year, approved SLRP II in principle, meaning that it has been approved by the trustees but requires the endorsement of the faculty and the recommendation of the president before it is fully approved. SLRP II is designed to guide the college from 2011-2016, providing an operational blueprint and long-term goals for Guilford.

“We didn’t want to move forward with it until we gave the faculty their due deference,” said President and Professor of Political Science Kent Chabotar.

The biggest issue involved with SLRP II is the proposed January term (J-term) which would create a three or four week term in January to allow for short study-abroad trips, independent studies, internships, and intensive classes.

“We want to make sure that the faculty endorses the concept of it,” said Chabotar. “We want the J-term to be popular. We want people to want to do it.”

Many students seem to like the idea of a J-term.

“I think the January term is a good idea as an extra resource,” said sophomore and religious studies major Kacey Minnick. “It’ll have drawbacks like any new program, but I think there are more benefits than not.”

“SLRP II will not be fully approved without the endorsement of the faculty,” said Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing Ty Buckner. “Right now, the Board of Trustees has basically said, ‘You’re on the right track, but there are a few things we need to settle before we go forward.'”

Both Chabotar and Buckner expect that the faculty will make a decision or propose potential changes by November. In the event of changes to the plan, it will go back to the trustees for review.

Chabotar said that he hoped the plan would be approved soon, but added, “If it gets delayed, it gets delayed, and we can still do it for 2012, no big deal. There’s nothing magical about the dates.”

Guilford’s budget for 2010-2011 was also approved by the Board of Trustees. The budget was initially approved in principle in February 2010, but reached formal approval at this fall meeting.

The budget includes a 3.5 percent increase in compensation for faculty and staff.

“This was the one thing going into the meeting that we didn’t know if we could afford,” said Buckner.

Not everyone will get a 3.5 percent wage increase, according to Chabotar. One percent will be allocated for equity increases and tied to the position, not the person. The other 2.5 percent will be allocated based on merit and performance, to be distributed by department managers.

Guilford’s bylaws were also amended to increase trustee term limits from three years to four years. Trustees may serve three consecutive terms, meaning that now they may serve for 12 years at a time, instead of nine.

“The Board of Trustees has been working hard to organize itself in terms of committee structure, trustee terms, and other ways to help better serve the college,” said Buckner.

Chabotar commented on the overall air of the meeting, calling it “very productive” and saying it had a “positive vibe.”

“The students who attended were excellent, and aided good discussion,” said Chabotar. “And the trustees are a hard working bunch. They do a lot of work for people we don’t pay – and then we expect them to give to the college.

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