Committee Makes Recommendations on Structure and Governance

The Special Committee on Institutional Administration and Governance is nearing the completion of its assignment to study the administrative structures at Trinity College and offer recommendations to the College community to make governance more efficient and transparent. The trustee members of the committee are Philip Khoury ’71, William Turner ’62, Thayer Bigelow ’65, and Leslie Sillcox ‘78. The faculty is represented by Richard Prigodich (chemistry), Alden Gordon ’69 (fine arts), Cheryl Greenberg (history), Maurice Wade (philosophy) and Dina Anselmi (psychology). Khoury and Prigodich co-chair the committee.

During the late spring and early summer the committee met to organize and carry out the discovery phase of its work. Dr. Frank Oakley, former faculty member, dean and president at Williams College, was hired as a consultant. He made several visits to campus, discussing the state of administration and governance with faculty and administrators, and wrote a report describing his findings and recommendations. The administrative structures at many comparable colleges were also studied. Extensive telephone conversations and face-to-face interviews with senior officers at sister institutions were also conducted.

In the late summer the committee began its analysis of the governance situation on campus based on what it had learned about administrative structures and procedures at Trinity and administration and governance at other colleges. The committee focused on several areas: coordinating trustee committee structure with campus administration and faculty committees; establishing a permanent structure for long-term planning; establishing procedures and structures for the annual budget process; restructuring the Dean of the Faculty office; reforming the faculty Educational Policy Committee; and reforming the appointments and promotion process.

In the fall the committee presented its findings and analysis to the campus community and the Board of Trustees. Discussion at open meetings and responses sent by e-mail were used to fine-tune the specific recommendations the committee would make in the six areas listed above. At the end of November the committee reached consensus on a final set of recommendations to be forwarded to the Board of Trustees, President Jones, and the faculty. President Jones is now in the process of instituting some of the committee’s recommendations. The trustees will take up these issues at their February, 2005 meeting. The faculty will discuss the recommendations for reforming the Educational Policy Committee and Appointments and Promotions Committee structures and procedures and implement them in a timely fashion.

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