The Yale Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, convened this Friday and Saturday in its third meeting of the academic year to discuss issues ranging from student housing to the University budget.
In addition to approving a pilot mixed-gender housing policy, the Corporation reviewed tuition and the University’s budget strategy, discussed the potential impact of health care reform on the School of Medicine, reviewed plans for the new School of Management building and heard an update on the search for a new head librarian.
University President Richard Levin said he and Provost Peter Salovey outlined their general budget strategy at the last Corporation meeting in December and received the “green light” to go ahead with their plans. At this past weekend’s meeting, the Corporation reviewed the specific measures to make up the University’s budget deficit, announced by Levin and Salovey earlier this month.
“The Corporation is very supportive of the way we’re realizing the budget targets that we’ve set, and the objectives of keeping the educational experience strong and maintaining financial aid,” Levin said.
The cost of attending Yale was also discussed, and Levin and Salovey will announce next year’s tuition later this week.
Also on the agenda were the Medical School’s financial policies, which may need to be adjusted once the federal government announces its expected new health care bill. Although most details cannot be determined until the bill is passed, the Corporation discussed potential concerns. Levin said cuts in Medicare reimbursement could harm revenue flow to the Medical School; the Cadillac Health Plan, which proposes taxation of health plans that provide benefits above a certain amount, could force Yale to reduce its benefits or pay a tax on them, he said.
Levin added that the Corporation is excited about developments at the School of Management and has greeted the most recent set of plans for the new SOM building with enthusiasm. The plans, altered this winter to comply with suggestions from the City Plan Commission and criticism from some local residents, will be presented to the full Board of Aldermen for approval on March 1.
The Corporation also heard an overview of library systems and resources from Frank Turner, acting University librarian, and received an update from the committee charged with finding a new head librarian. The search committee has already come up with 50 or 60 candidates, and is still adding names, Levin said. The committee plans to reach a conclusion this summer, he said.
A committee dedicated to alumni affairs gave a report about a plan, put into place two years ago by the Association of Yale Alumni, that proposed organizing events for “shared interest groups,” such as alumni who sang a cappella at Yale or went into real estate, and “shared identity groups,” such as Latino alumni, African-American alumni or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender alumni. Levin said this approach has reached Yale graduates who did not historically attend local club events or class reunions.
In addition to presenting with the Yale College Council about mixed gender housing, Yale College Dean Mary Miller spoke about the graduation requirements introduced in 2005. Miller is in the middle of preparing to evaluate the curriculum next year, after the graduation of the class of 2010 — the second class to be affected by the new requirements.
Miller also talked more broadly about the Yale College experience, including travel abroad options, campus life and student housing.
Despite a busy schedule, the Corporation still found time to watch the men’s hockey team defeat St. Lawrence University at Ingalls Rink on Friday night.
The Corporation will convene again this coming April.