A five percent term bill increase for the 2004-05 academic year, building plans for Science Hill, and Yale-China relations topped the Yale Corporation’s agenda last weekend, Yale President Richard Levin said at a debriefing Thursday.
The Corporation, the University’s highest decision-making body, also examined the financial situation at the Medical School and fundraising opportunities at the School of Management, Levin said. Members also approved proposed Davenport College renovation plans, he said.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee delivered a report on the future of Science Hill, proposing Yale create more community spaces — including lounges and dining halls — in the area. The committee also charged the University with determining a location for a new biology building, as well as examining and improving pedestrian flow, Levin said.
“We’re looking at how we can turn Science Hill into something that feels more like a campus,” Levin said.
World renowned architect Cesar Pelli and landscaper Lauri Olin will work together on the Science Hill project, Levin said. The University’s goal is to transform Science Hill into “a place for people to get together — a social setting,” Levin said.
“I thought that the [Science Hill] presentation was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen since I’ve been on the Yale Corporation,” Corporation member Len Baker ’64 said.
The Corporation also voted to move ahead with the renovation of Davenport College, beginning this summer. Davenport follows Pierson College in the University’s plans to renovate all 12 residential colleges.
Levin said Pierson’s renovations are on schedule. After renovations are complete, Pierson will have more beds available to students, but Yale is unlikely to accept more students because of the increase, Levin said. Instead, Pierson is likely to use the extra space to create more singles for juniors who would have had to live in doubles before the renovation, he said.
Levin also briefed the Corporation on plans to replace the roof of the underground portion of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library this summer. This process will involve “digging up” Beinecke Plaza, Levin said.
At the meeting, the Corporation voted to increase the undergraduate term bill by 5 percent to $38,850, marking the largest rise during Levin’s tenure. Levin said even with the increase, Yale will maintain its commitment to providing financial aid.
“When we raise the term bill, we budget an adequate amount to cover the needs of financial aid,” Levin said.
In other economic matters, the Corporation’s Finance Committee convened to discuss the financial health of the Medical School.
“The good news is the situation looks like it did last year,” Levin said. “It hasn’t gotten any worse.”
The Medical School is currently facing a budget deficit. Levin said the budget probably will remain out of balance for the next four years or so, but the University has the means to address this issue.
“It’s going to take careful management and prudent use of resources,” Levin said.
Levin also gave a presentation to the Corporation on his November trip to China. Chinese graduate schools continue to demand partnerships with Yale, Levin said. He said the University may pursue Yale-affiliated management and leadership development programs in China.
This weekend marked the first meeting at which Corporation member Roland Betts ’68 served as senior fellow. Betts succeeded former Senior Fellow John Pepper ’60, who stepped down from his position after being named the University’s vice president for finance and administration in December.
Levin said the University is unlikely to take actions to tap another Corporation member to fill the void left when Betts replaced Pepper before the end of the year.
Some Corporation members displayed their Yale spirit by attending the Yale-Harvard hockey game last Friday, Levin said.