The decisions reached at the last Yale Corporation meeting will leave sailors happy and parents groaning.
The University’s highest policy making body voted in last weekend’s meeting to make sailing a varsity sport and approved a 3.9 percent increase in the Yale College term bill, Yale President Richard Levin said yesterday.
The trustees received an update on labor negotiations, reviewed campus renovations and the yearly cost of capital projects, and discussed how to assess the quality of Yale’s educational programs.
In the wake of the debate over James Shulman and William Bowen’s controversial book about athletes and admissions in the Ivy League, Levin said their findings make the University “loath to add any new varsity sports.”
But Levin said a donation “of sufficient magnitude to make the sport self-supporting” led the administration to recognize sailing’s merit as a varsity sport.
The February Corporation meeting is traditionally the forum for decisions about the University’s term bill, and Levin said the Corporation decided to raise tuition and room and board to $35,370.
He defended the term bill increase by pointing to Yale’s new need-blind admissions policy for international students and to next year’s new policy that will reduce the self-help component for students receiving financial aid by an average of $3,445 per year.
On Saturday morning, Director of Labor Relations Brian Tunney and Associate Vice President for Administration Peter Vallone briefed the Corporation on contract negotiations with locals 34 and 35, which began yesterday.
The Building and Grounds Committee heard reports on architect Cesar Pelli’s plans for a new biomedical engineering building, which will be located on Prospect Street near the corner of Trumbull Street.
In a study that replicated an earlier Corporation study the first year of Levin’s presidency, Corporation members examined the replacement cost of Yale’s facilities.
Levin called it a “tragedy” that the University reached such dire need of renovation toward the end of the 1980s and said Yale is now trying to gradually build the cost of reinvesting in facilities into the operating budget.
Capital planning is currently allocated about $40 million in the budget, Levin said, assuming a certain level of donations.
“We think that today the appropriate [cost] is close to $100 million a year for capital projects.”
Provost Alison Richard, Yale’s chief academic and financial officer, led the educational policy committee in what she called a “conceptual” discussion of Yale’s methods of assessing the University’s educational quality.
Levin said that he was personally concerned with the issue of teaching evaluations and that he thinks Web-based evaluations are a step in the right direction.
“Paper-based [evaluations], in my view, don’t focus on the right questions,” Levin said. “I think the new experiments with Web-based course evaluations have gone some distance.”
Aside from its discussion on athletics, the Institutional Policy Committee focused on affirmative action, Levin said, with a distinct focus on staff positions. Levin also recognized a need on the University’s behalf to hire more minorities at the highest levels.