The Yale Corporation discussed academic planning at its meeting earlier this month, continuing a long-term process that promises to be one of the central themes of the next few years on campus, University President Peter Salovey told the News on Friday.
The Corporation also approved Yale’s annual operating budget and was updated on graduate student union Local 33, which recently concluded a month of headline-grabbing protests designed to pressure the University to open labor negotiations.
Salovey described select highlights from the session in his first post-meeting press briefing, one of the initiatives the trustees unveiled earlier this year as part of a package of changes designed to make the Corporation more transparent. Meeting agendas are not released publicly and the minutes remain sealed for 50 years.
But the subject of the June meeting was telling: Salovey has spent the last year trying to pivot the University from campus controversy to his long-term academic objectives, which range from bolstering the sciences to better integrating the arts across professional schools.
The trustees gathered on campus during the second weekend of June. But Salovey was unable to brief the News until this week because he was traveling on University business.
Salovey had previously cancelled a briefing scheduled after the Corporation’s April meeting as he recovered from surgery for a vocal problem. On Friday, he said the April discussions focussed largely on how to turn the University’s broad academic goals into concrete proposals for a major fundraising campaign.
Salovey’s throat problems date back to November, when he burst a blood vessel in a vocal cord while celebrating Yale’s shock victory over Harvard at the The Game. He described the ordeal in a speech to alumni during one of the annual reunion weekends in May.
“I ran onto the field with about a thousand Yale students, and one of them came up to me with blue hair, and he started screaming, ‘President Salovey,’” Salovey said in the speech. “And I screamed back his name. And when I did that I felt something burst in my vocal cord. And it turned out I was hoarse for months.”
At the end of Friday’s briefing, Salovey said he was close to a full recovery, although his voice still wears out a little faster than usual.
“It has basically come back. I sound like myself again,” he said. “It was pretty harrowing. I have to learn to do things not to strain it, to warm up before a speech. I used to not do that.”