Corporation meets amid labor tension

The Yale Corporation, the University’s highest policy-making body, convenes on campus this weekend for its first meeting of the academic year, under new leadership and with new fellows.

This weekend’s meeting is marked by the attendance of newly elected and appointed fellows Maya Lin ’81 ARC ’86 and Indra Nooyi SOM ’80, and John E. Pepper ’60 will preside over his first meeting as senior fellow.

Meeting agendas are generally confidential, but Yale President Richard Levin said that no major policy initiatives would likely emerge from the meeting and that the meeting would be a forward look at the year.

“There won’t be a lot at this one,” Levin said. “There’s not a lot of action.”

The body meets amid tension in contract negotiations for Yale’s unions, and Pepper indicated the Corporation would give attention to the continuing negotiations.

“Of course we still need to see a conclusion to the labor negotiations,” Pepper said in an interview last week.

Pepper said the meeting would include continued discussion of the University’s long-term financial plan. He said that in the last 18 months the Corporation has undertaken more financial analysis than he has ever before witnessed during his years on the Corporation.

This weekend, he said, would also include more study about the maintenance of capital replacement “so that we really know what it is going to cost” to maintain Yale’s facilities.

“There is more thought being given on looking out for long-term investment priorities,” Pepper said.

A knowledgeable University source said that the consideration of future capital planning was especially important because of current economic conditions.

Pepper also said the academic review would be discussed, and he predicted that by the end of 2003 significant conclusions from Yale’s curriculum review would be reached.

Pepper added that final design proposals for the chemistry and engineering buildings would be reviewed at the meeting.

The Corporation also plans to discuss University outreach to New Haven, Pepper said.

“We are going to be stepping back and looking back at what more we can do to really bring the capabilities [of the University] to the improvement of New Haven,” said Pepper, who added that the body planned to look specifically at different neighborhoods and schools.

He said he expects work in this area to be accomplished by the end of the calendar year.

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