Board of Trustee’s winter meeting

On Tuesday, February 14, President of the College David A. Greene sent an email to students and faculty outlining the findings of the winter Board of Trustees Meeting which took place in Boston.

Greene highlighted the recently announced $100M gift by Peter and Paula Lunder that will go towards further strengthening the Colby College Museum of Art as well as establishing the Lunder Institute for American Art. Greene went on to say that the gift will present a greater opportunity for the College to “consider how [we] can enhance [our] commitment to humanistic study and be a destination for the arts, including our efforts in Waterville and in designing and building a center for arts and innovation on campus.”

Along with endeavors in the arts and humanities, the email also highlighted Colby’s continued investment in the sciences. At the meeting, Assistant Professor of Biology Dave Angelini, Professor of Computer Science Bruce Maxwell, and J. Warren Merrill Associate Professor of Biology Andrea Tilden delivered a talk about Colby’s new major in computational biology and the opportunities it presents for students. During the professor’s presentation, they also updated the Board of Trustees on the promising work being done to hire new professors for the new interdisciplinary major.

Also discussed during the meeting was how to ensure that Colby remains an institution that fosters inclusivity and freedom of expression. Greene commented in his email that “The board strongly supports our commitment to ensuring that Colby is a community that remains open to talented students from all countries, where debate and dissent are valued, where we explore issues from all perspectives, and where thoughtful arguments are developed based on evidence and analysis. Our responsibility to support such an environment is fundamental to our mission as an institution of higher learning.”

Dean of the College Karlene Burrell-McRae ’94 led a discussion about strategic goals that included next steps aimed at creating a stronger sense of inclusivity and belonging, integrating academic and cocurricular experiences, advancing collaboration, and promoting equality of opportunity and access for all.

Also presented at the meeting was the data on applications for the Class of 2021. This year, Colby recognized another all-time high of applicants, receiving 11,185 applications. Greene commented in his email that this year’s applicant pool represented the “most diverse pool ever.”

An update of the planning of Downtown Waterville was also discussed at the meeting. Greene’s email stated that the plan included housing for 200 students in four- and six-person apartments, as well as several faculty and staff apartments. To aid the design plan, a task force on civic engagement, led by Herbert E. Wadsworth 1892 Professor of Economics Michael Donihue and Dean Burrell-McRae was also established. This task force will offer recommendations on how these students, faculty, and staff will engage with the community of Waterville while living downtown.

Also at the meeting, five Assistant Professors were granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor, effective September 1. Professor of Economics Samara Gunter, Professor of Economics Timothy Hubbard, Professor of Physics Jonathan McCoy, Professor of French Mouhamedoul Niang, and Professor of Psychology Erin Sheets will join other tenured professors at the College.