President’s update and board report

Dear Colleagues,

Following are campus news items and the report from the Aug. 2 telephone meeting of the Board of Directors.

  • I have appointed Nancyellen Keane ’78 as vice president for administration and general counsel, effective immediately. One of the leading attorneys in the successful efforts of Saving Sweet Briar to keep the College open, she will report to me and will handle organizational, legal and general administrative matters.
  • The President’s Council has just been completely staffed, in time to prepare for the beginning of the academic year. Some members are serving the College for specific terms, allowing us time to launch appropriate searches for permanent replacements. The council had its first meeting Monday morning. Among the matters we considered were:
    • Reports on fundraising, admissions and developing the 2015-2016 budget;
    • Recent decisions about returning Campus Safety personnel to direct employment by the College and the commencement of the new Sweet Briar Dining Services;
    • Preparation for arrival of students and school opening, and the plan for student housing;
    • Community social event before school starts and a state-of-the-College address by the president;
    • Planning for the Aug. 26 academic convocation;
    • Planning for Founders’ Day Weekend on Sept. 25 and 26.
  • Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of SACS Commission on Colleges, our accrediting association, will make a presentation at the board retreat session on Aug. 22. We are delighted to have her visit.
  • For a second week, alumnae from all across the country are on campus doing chores and activities to make the campus sparkle for the opening of school. Please welcome them.
  • As previously announced, the College has retained Parkhurst Dining to manage Sweet Briar College Dining Services. Staff will be employees of the College, and the College will determine the locations, hours and features of campus dining.
  • The College terminated the outsource agreement to provide campus security and has rehired several personnel as Sweet Briar employees. Tony Muchine has been named acting director.
  • I spent a couple of hours on the campus of Lynchburg College last Thursday as the guest of President Ken Garren, who again offered to assist any way possible this year. President Garren visited me here a couple of weeks ago.
  • Dr. David Beckley, his wife and grandson visited our campus last week. Dr. Beckley has been president of Rust College in Mississippi for more than 20 years and is a good friend. After attending a conference in Williamsburg, he drove here to see our “famous” school.
  • Karen Hartnett, a Sweet Briar alumna and human resources consultant, completed her campus visit Friday. During her 10 days on campus, she met many of you and heard from you not only how the HR office might be of greater assistance but other concerns you have about the College.

Board Update

The Board of Directors in its regular weekly telephone conference meeting Sunday night considered the following:

  • Heard more details of the planning for the board’s meeting on campus Aug. 20-22;
  • Heard my report on the completion of the administrative leadership team;
  • Heard a report from the Admissions Committee confirming that we still anticipate approximately 300 students this fall;
  • Reviewed the schedule for Founders’ Day and how my formal investiture as president might be made part of the ceremonies of the day;
  • Received information from other board committees, but no action was taken.

Respectfully,

Phil Stone