Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am glad to welcome you all back to campus for Spring Term. There are a number of important items on which I would like to report.

Congratulations to all who planned, contributed to and participated in the lively mix of January Term academic coursework and service-learning activities on campus and across several continents. These adventures collectively enrich and enliven our sense of purpose and mission as a Catholic, Lasallian, liberal arts learning community. I encourage you to attend Wednesday evening's presentation by the team that spent January in New Orleans on post-Katrina recovery efforts (consult our website for details).

College Trustees and Regents were on campus last week for their regular quarterly meetings. Trustees took action on several important initiatives:

* Approved the expedited procurement of contract prices for the construction of Filippi Academic Hall, for Trustees' further consideration. This step was taken in light of increases in construction and material costs partially attributable to hurricane Katrina.

* Approved preliminary programming and conceptual design work for relocating Louis Guisto Baseball Field and constructing a Student Recreation Center on that site. Also approved the development of a long-range parking plan for campus.

* Approved budget assumptions and projections for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The estimated operating budget of $95.3 million is 5.3 % higher than this year's. It includes a 13.5 % increase in institutional financial aid; 5.25 % rise in faculty and staff salary pools; funds (the equivalent of a 0.25% increase in salary pools) for participation in the Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions Program beginning in January 2007; an additional $820,000 for technology enhancements; $500,000 for deferred maintenance with a focus on residence halls; and $113,000 more for library resources.

* The budget calls for a 7% increase in traditional undergraduate tuition (vs. an 8.5 % increase a year ago), 5% increase in board and 6% increase in room costs. TUG fall 2006 enrollment - total student population and newly enrolled students - projects to be very close to last year's levels. Provost Sally Stampp and VP for Finance and Planning Pete Michell will provide details on the budget and associated operating assumptions in coming weeks.

* Approved the conferral of an honorary degree on Brother Edmund Siderewicz at our April 25 College Convocation. Historically held in early February, this year's Convocation has been rescheduled to occur during De La Salle Week that runs from April 23 � 28. Brother Ed is a principal driving force behind the establishment of two thriving San Miguel Schools in impoverished neighborhoods of Chicago.

Finally, please join your faculty, staff and student colleagues in LeFevre Theater at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, February 15 for a State of the College presentation. As I enter my second year as President, I look forward to sharing a series of reflections on opportunities and challenges facing the College.

Sincerely in De La Salle,

Br. Ronald Gallagher

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