The Yale Corporation reviewed the status of the University’s science buildings and programs, contemplated the construction of new science facilities and discussed ways to raise Yale’s international profile at its meeting last weekend, Yale President Richard Levin said at a debriefing Tuesday.
The full meeting of the Corporation, the University’s highest decision-making body, focused on long-term plans, but members did not meet in smaller committees, Levin said. He said Corporation members discussed how renovated buildings on Science Hill can be used to “strategically recruit outstanding faculty.” The University also plans to begin to renovate the Kline and Sterling chemistry laboratories before it finishes constructing a new biology building, Levin said.
Although Yale’s original plan in 2000 called for the completion of the three science buildings in 20 years, Levin said the University now hopes to finish the construction and renovation in the next 10 years.
“There was a pretty rich discussion of science that I think showed the Corporation’s commitment to moving forward as rapidly as finances will allow,” said Levin, who consulted with science department chairs before last weekend’s meeting.
Chemistry professor Jerome Berson said he was encouraged by the Corporation’s decision to fund science buildings and programs more quickly.
“I think it’s great, and I’m sure that there have been committees out there urging them to do just that for a long time,” Berson said.
During their discussion of Yale’s international agenda, Corporation members identified ways to provide appropriate education for international leaders, attract foreign students and faculty, and raise Yale’s visibility as a global institution, Levin said.
Members focused on ways to implement the recommendations of last year’s Committee on Yale College Education report, which included more internship and study abroad opportunities for students. Levin said there are currently about 450 such opportunities available to undergraduates. The Corporation wants to triple that number in order for every student to spend at least one summer abroad, he said.
Levin said the University will work to offer better services to international students and scholars to enhance their Yale experience. Levin said he was encouraged by the federal government’s efforts over the summer to speed up the visa-granting system for international students after he and officials from other universities began pressuring President Bush’s administration to reform the system.
“Not every item on our agenda has yet been addressed, but this clearly shows an effort to accelerate the process,” Levin said. “I’m hopeful that’s the beginning of a trend.”
Last weekend’s meeting was the first for Margaret Marshall LAW ’76, who was elected to the Corporation last spring. Marshall, currently chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, served as vice president and general counsel of Harvard University from 1992 until 1996.
Levin said Marshall will take on a wide range of tasks as a trustee.
“It will be great to have her advice,” Levin said. “As she demonstrated at this meeting, she has a wide range of abilities and is a very active contributor to discussion.”
Marshall did not return requests for comment Tuesday.