Crash tops Corporation agenda



The Yale Corporation, the University’s highest decision-making body, will focus on the Jan. 17 automobile accident that killed four Yale students when it convenes this weekend for its third meeting of the academic year, Yale officials said.

Though the Corporation traditionally keeps its agendas secret, University officials said the Corporation is also likely to discuss fiscal issues, Yale’s union negotiations, the price of tuition and the University’s academic review.

Corporation member Roland Betts ’68 said the Corporation will discuss the crash and the administration’s response.

“If there’s anything we can do to help there, we will,” Betts said.

A University official said administrators will announce Yale College’s tuition rate after the meeting. In past years, the Corporation has determined the term bill — the cost of tuition, room and board — at its February meetings.

The Yale official said the Corporation is likely to discuss “tightening belts” in all its departments. Budget tightening has been an issue for universities nationwide, as many face financial challenges brought on by the recent economic downturn.

Betts said he expects the Corporation will receive an update on labor negotiations with Yale’s two largest unions, locals 34 and 35. For the past year, Yale and locals 34 and 35 have been negotiating new contracts for nearly 4,000 workers with few signs of a quick settlement.

Union spokesman Deborah Chernoff said she does not know what the Corporation will discuss, but she hopes they will address labor issues.

“They always say they aren’t going to talk about labor, but I find that hard to believe,” Chernoff said. “[Corporation meetings are] a good opportunity for people to talk about labor even if it’s not on the agenda.”

Senior Corporation fellow John Pepper ’60 said the Corporation will receive an update on the University’s academic review, which likely will be formally completed by the end of the semester. Yale President Richard Levin announced Tuesday that the University will mount a fund-raising campaign after the committee in charge of the review releases its recommendations. The campaign may not begin for about a year and a half, Levin said.

Betts said the meeting is not likely to hold any surprises.

“I would say the meeting is pretty much business as usual,” he said.

Vice President for Development Charles Pagnam said the weekend’s agenda appeared to be a typical one.

“I don’t think there’s anything unusual [on the agenda],” Pagnam said.

A group of undergraduates in the Student Committee for Corporation Reform, calling for greater transparency in Corporation issues, invited Corporation members and undergraduate students to meet on Friday at 5 p.m. on Beinecke Plaza. The Corporation has announced that it is unavailable to meet during that time, but committee member Will Tanzman ’04 said students will still gather on Beinecke Plaza as planned.

University Secretary Linda Lorimer said Corporation members will meet with leaders of the Graduate Student Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate.

Betts said the Corporation’s subcommittees will hold meetings on Thursday and Friday, and the whole Corporation will convene on Saturday afternoon.

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