The Kenyon College Board of Trustees focused forward on a 2020 theme during its meeting Oct. 23-24 in Gambier.
In full attendance and chaired by Barry F. Schwartz ’70, the board discussed planning for an enhanced student experience and for the next capital campaign, both framed by the general goals of the nascent 2020 strategic plan.
The 2020 strategic plan is being fine-tuned to implement the general concerns, goals and suggestions shared in a series of meetings with alumni, faculty, staff and students. The plan is aimed broadly at accessibility and financial aid; enhancing the student experience; and community outreach.
“The Board of Trustees is charting a course into Kenyon’s third century, and the administration, driven by President Decatur, is preparing a plan for a strong future,” Schwartz said. “Kenyon will keep its place among the elite institutions in the country, graduating students who compete for the best jobs and enjoy productive careers.”
In his message to the board, President Sean Decatur drew on “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” a 1967 sermon by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. King described human development in terms of a three-dimensional model, and Decatur used those dimensions to help define a liberal arts education. Length (self-development), width (a productive life in a community), and height (one’s place in the universe) “always have defined the Kenyon experience,” Decatur said. “As we develop a vision of the Kenyon of 2020 and the plan that will take us there, our challenge is to direct our resources and efforts appropriately so that we may not only continue our work in these areas, but also push further toward even higher levels of excellence.”
Provost Joseph L. Klesner shared with the board the goals of the Academic Division to develop a stronger first-year experience, enhance experiential learning, map and coordinate College resources to improve student pathways to academic success, and help launch students into post-Kenyon careers.
Heidi McCrory, vice president for college relations, described planning for the next capital campaign, expected to surface in a public phase in 2017 after a private phase that may begin in 2015. Early emphasis is on the endowment, scholarships, the student experience, and stronger links between the College and its surrounding community. A specific fundraising goal will be determined by the trustees.
The board also: