Highlights from Aug. 20-22 SBC Board of Directors meeting

The Sweet Briar College Board of Directors met in a retreat format on campus Thursday evening, Aug. 20, until noon Saturday, Aug. 22. Highlights of the meeting include:

  • At the direction of the board chair, Teresa Pike Tomlinson, the board conducted the first paperless board meeting in the history of the College. Through the good work of Dawn Gatewood and Aaron Mahler, directors were able to access even lengthy documents during and prior to the meeting.
  • Except one person, who was held up unexpectedly for business reasons, all directors attended the entire retreat.
  • The board acknowledged with regret the resignation of Jim Fabiani for health reasons and elected Allison Stemmons Simon ’63 as a new member of the board.
  • Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Commission on Colleges of SACS, presented a seminar for the board on the commission’s accreditation requirements and provided helpful advice on the respective roles of the board and the administration in governance.
  • The board acknowledged that some donors feel deeply that their endowment funds now being released from restriction by Virginia’s Attorney General should continue to be used for the purposes designated by the donors. The board voted to restrict such funds to the intended wishes of the donors and to require approval by three-fourths of the board for any future changes in their status.
  • President Stone presented his State of the College Report.
  • The board received reports from members of the president’s council and engaged in extended conversations about finances, fundraising and enrollment.
  • The College’s new auditors, BDO, presented an outline of the annual auditing process now underway.
  • The College’s investment counselors, Prime Buchholz, presented a report on the performance of the investments of the College.
  • Ruth McCambridge, editor in chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly, made a presentation on current trends in nonprofits, particularly on matters of governance.
  • The board met over breakfast with the Faculty Executive Committee for a discussion on governance, open communications and other matters.
  • The board was treated to the first meals served by Sweet Briar Dining Services under new management by Parkhurst. Everyone agreed enthusiastically: thumbs up!
  • At the end of the meeting, members of the campus community, friends of the College, members of the governing boards of the Town of Amherst and Amherst County and other special guests joined the board for lunch on the upper Quad on a glorious, sunny day.