The Yale Corporation convened over the weekend to discuss the University’s budget for the 2012-’13 academic year and student life policy changes made this year.
University President Richard Levin said Sunday that the Corporation met with representatives of Yale Health, Undergraduate Career Services and the college masters to discuss student life. The Corporation also addressed Yale’s budget for the coming academic year, which Levin said is almost finalized, and preliminary plans for resuming work on major projects that were stalled after the onset of the recession in 2008.
University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer said in a Sunday email the topic of mental health services was placed on the agenda last summer. The death last Wednesday of Zachary Brunt ’15 — ruled a suicide by the state medical examiner’s office — was also discussed at the meeting, she added.
“Of course, the recent tragedy was referenced,” Lorimer said. “The members of the Corporation expressed their condolences to Zachary’s family.”
As part of the weekend’s meeting, Corporation fellows attended a panel featuring Yale College Dean Mary Miller and three college masters, and then had breakfast with all 12 masters. Levin said the conversation over breakfast was “very general,” focusing on the demographics of the student body and “the special needs students have today.”
The Corporation’s Institutional Policy Committee, which considers the University’s administrative policies, met with Jane Edwards, dean of international and professional experience and associate dean of Yale College, to review recent changes to Yale’s career services and with representatives of mental health counseling at Yale.
“There was recently an external review of the mental health services, which was very positive,” Levin said. “And there’s been a number of initiatives to improve career services and broaden the menu of job opportunities available to undergraduates, beyond the typical financial or consulting jobs.”
Yale College Council President Brandon Levin ’13 said the Corporation also met with the YCC for roughly one hour on Friday to discuss the council’s annual report, which reviewed initiatives such as gender-neutral housing and the mental health fellows program.
As for capital construction, Levin said administrators are “beginning to analyze” when work can resume on the projects. He added that it is still too soon to evaluate the University’s capacity to finance these projects, though they were also addressed at the Corporation’s April meeting last year.
“It was a very preliminary discussion,” Levin said. “Most likely it will lead a more detailed discussion over the summer and hopefully some decisions in the fall, but we’re not there yet in terms of completing work.”
Seven major capital projects were postponed when the recession hit, and five of these projects remain stalled: the new residential colleges, the renovation of Hendrie Hall, the new biology building, the new School of Drama building, and additions to Kline and Sterling Chemistry Laboratories. The University already resumed work on the new School of Management building and the Yale University Art Gallery renovations after raising sufficient funds to continue the projects.
The Yale Corporation meets five times per year and is comprised of 19 fellows.