Construction updates, discussion of campus security initiatives and final work on next year’s budget topped the agenda at this past weekend’s Yale Corporation meeting, which began hours after Chinese President Hu Jintao spoke on campus, Yale officials said.

The Corporation’s Buildings and Grounds Committee heard progress reports on several campus construction projects and discussed the renovation needs of Calhoun, Ezra Stiles and Morse colleges, Yale President Richard Levin said. The Institutional Policies Committee discussed the effectiveness of investments in campus security made earlier this year following an increase in campus crime. Work on the budget for the 2007 fiscal year is nearly complete and balanced, Levin said, following a projected $25 million budget deficit earlier this year.

“The provost and his team have very nearly completed work on next year’s budget,” Levin said. “We are confident that we will have a balanced budget for next year.”

The Finance Committee reviewed the budget and will provide its final approval at the June meeting, Levin said. The budget gap will be closed despite new diversity initiatives for staff and faculty, new childcare support, an increased graduate student stipend and a freezing of the self-help level, he said.

Yale Provost Andrew Hamilton said that although there have been great budgetary pressures on the University’s operating budget, the budget will be balanced by reallocating income from restricted endowment funds to cover areas previously funded by general appropriations.

The architecture firm KieranTimberlake Associates, hired by Yale as a consultant, presented its final report on the renovations of Calhoun, Morse and Stiles at the meeting, Levin said, and concluded that comprehensive renovations of each of the colleges would require students to live elsewhere for at least a full year. The University has not yet hired architects for the projects, he said.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee heard an update on the design of new buildings for art history, sculpture, and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Levin said. The committee also approved a measure recommended by the University’s Committee on Alcohol Policy to create apartments on Old Campus for resident faculty and postdoctoral fellows, who will serve as advisors to freshmen as a supplement to freshman counselors. Two apartments will be put in over the summer by converting suites into faculty apartments, he said.

Discussion in the Institutional Policies Committee centered on making additions to the police and security forces and improving security and escort services, Levin said. Although campus crime has been low in recent months, the committee members hope the recently added security will prevent a recurrence of high crime rates similar to those experienced in late August and early September, he said.