The Kenyon College Board of Trustees, meeting in Gambier on Feb. 4-5, approved the operating budget for the next fiscal year, preliminary design work for capital improvements in the West Quad and in the village center, and the launch of a comprehensive campaign.
“Kenyon stands with the finest institutions in the country, and President Sean Decatur and our leadership team, guided by the 2020 strategic plan and informed by the campus master plan, are well-positioned to keep the College at the leading edge of higher education,” said Brackett Denniston ’69, president of the board, after the meeting.
“This is a very exciting time on campus,” Decatur said in his message to trustees.
Decatur emphasized that Kenyon is best served by a strategic plan that can be evaluated as it is executed, and he shared a range of metrics that will, in turn, be shared online and in print with the Kenyon community. And he pointed to planned capital projects, including the redevelopment of the downtown area of Gambier, with an emphasis on student housing and fresh retail space, and the revitalization of the West Quad, with an Academic Commons and reconfigured space for Department of English classrooms and offices. Regarding plans for a comprehensive campaign, Decatur shared his sense of the quickening pulse of enthusiasm among alumni and donors, and he found “particularly strong interest in making endowment support a central focus.”
Decatur also welcomed Randy Bass, vice provost for education and professor of English at Georgetown University, who shared his thoughts with trustees, faculty and staff on the use of technology to better integrate the high-impact experiences that are enhancing the contemporary liberal arts curriculum and are a cornerstone of the Kenyon strategic plan. Bass, a prominent thought leader on liberal education, discussed methods to connect best classroom and out-of-classroom practices with educational theory and the means for faculty to help students “navigate digital and networked learning” and find “a sense of purpose.” Bass called for flexibility and imagination, adding that “creatively re-imaging the curriculum is the way to go.”
Action taken by the board included:
“This is a great start to a journey that I know will be another Kenyon success,” Denniston said, “one fitting to our ambitions.”