A discussion of ways to improve the University’s construction program and a review of Yale College’s progress on the reforms recommended in the 2003 academic review topped the Yale Corporation’s agenda at its meeting last month, Yale officials said.

In his first major report to the Corporation as dean of Yale College, Peter Salovey discussed this year’s changes to the undergraduate curriculum as well as summer opportunities abroad, which the University has been rapidly expanding for undergraduates, Yale President Richard Levin said. The Corporation also discussed the University’s plans to run construction and maintenance more efficiently.

Levin said the Corporation reviewed progress on each proposal in the Committee on Yale College Education report of 2003. Faculty members voted last semester to revamp the undergraduate Credit/D/Fail policy and distributional requirements, both of which were recommended in the report.

This year, the Yale Summer School has substantially increased its opportunities for study abroad, Levin said. Salovey made a presentation to the Corporation on ways to enhance Junior Term Abroad, Levin said.

“There has been substantial progress in moving toward new curricular requirements,” Levin said.

During its meeting, the Corporation’s education policy committee discussed the potential for developing health studies opportunities in the undergraduate curriculum, another of the academic review’s proposals. Salovey also presented Corporation members with a list of the new science and art courses being developed for undergraduates.

Also on the meeting’s agenda was a discussion of the University’s plan to revamp the process for its construction program, which could involve spending $300 million per year for the next five or 10 years, Yale Vice President for Finance and Administration John Pepper said. The University will assemble project teams including Yale Provost Andrew Hamilton, architects and faculty to discuss planning.

“We want to do [planning] early on to minimize costs later,” Pepper said. “To do a much better planning process up front with the right people is critical.”

Levin said the new changes will affect future construction projects more than current ones and may benefit projects that have not yet reached the stage of bidding for construction.

Pepper said the University will reduce costs by buying building materials in bulk from contractors and reorganizing maintenance by speciality.

Yale officials also plan to place minor construction projects costing about $2 million each under the supervision of a single organization, possibly a common contractor, Pepper said.

Levin said during the meeting, the members discussed the University’s progress in reducing energy costs by regulating heat and power. Pepper said the University will keep costs down not only by conserving energy at its central power plant. The University will also begin a drive to save energy in 2005, which will involve every student and faculty member on campus.

Levin said he also updated Corporation members on the progress of ongoing searches for a vice president for development and for deans in the School of Nursing and the School of Management.