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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Board of trustees meets to discuss new directions

“I am extraordinarily optimistic about the future of Guilford (College),” said Board of Trustees Chair Ed Winslow. “We have the right president at the right time, and the fit between Jane and Guilford is perfect. At the same time, we have a highly focused board of trustees.”

On Feb. 27, the Board of Trustees and President Jane Fernandes met for a closed meeting to discuss the direction of Guilford.

Though some meetings in the past have been open to the public, this meeting was not. However, both trustees and Fernandes spoke about the topics discussed during their convening with The Guilfordian.

“We talked about several topics,” said Fernandes. “The creation of new majors, investments and initiatives to strengthen interest in a Guilford education, the complete redesign of our website to articulate Guilford’s distinct mission and we talked about the tuition for next year.”

The Board of Trustees and Fernandes agreed that the College should go in a new direction, while still holding true to and improving its core values.

This new direction aims not only to be enticing to new students but would also make current students feel safe and welcome on the campus.

“I have huge confidence in Jane,” said Winslow. “I think we have fresh ideas, and I believe that Jane has the ability to change directions for Guilford.

“Changes happen over time. There is an payoff, and the changes will be good right away, but they will have lasting effects.”

It is important, in a time full of changes, that the College has a sense of togetherness and oneness. This meeting was not only to push Guilford in a positive direction, but also to bring students, faculty and staff together.

“There is a renaissance happening at Guilford,” said Fernandes. “Board members met with Integrity for Guilford students to learn about oppression such as racism and sexual assault. We had a great conversation on how to address those issues, and we are very grateful to the students who came to speak with the trustees.”

Meeting with Integrity for Guilford was one of the action steps that the board and Fernandes have already completed, and there are many more changes that Guilford hopes to accomplish in the future.

“In our meeting, I got the approval from the board for no tuition increase,” said Fernandes. “There would be a small increase for room and board due to costs that we incur, but I hope that no increase in tuition is good news for students.”

This should come as good news to returning and new students, and that is not the last of the changes that Fernendes and the board plan to make.

“Enrollment and our students are the number one focus for us,” said Fernandes. “We want to work on our curriculum and draw new students. We want to show our core values. There is no better place to learn about honesty and integrity than at Guilford.

“We will add new courses in cyber technology, we will develop a new user experience and design major housed in the art department and we are even considering a master’s degree in criminal justice. Our faculty is working hard at re-imagining our general education curriculum.”

The College is striving for improvement by trying to make serious changes.

“This is a renaissance,” said Vice President of Marketing Roger Degerman. “Jane came in affirming values, and she is helping the College become what it really needs to be. In moving forward, we plan to sustain our mission, strengthen the value of the education we offer and shine in distinction.”

One thing that everyone agrees on is that it is time for change on Guilford’s campus, but how long until the school reaches its potential?

“We are building a laser focus on Guilford,” said Degerman. “We have initiatives underway, starting with education. … We have 10 objectives that we will achieve (or make significant progress on) by 2018.”

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James Sharpe, Senior Writer

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