SMC Board of Trustees and President's Cabinet Gather in October for First 2018–19 Meeting

The Saint Mary’s College of California Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet met on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, for their first meeting of the Board of Trustee member and History Professor Brother Charles Hilken with JCL Professors Monica Fitzgerald and Manisha Anantharaman. 2018–19 academic year. The program included reports to the Board by President James Donahue and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Margaret Kasimatis, as well as a panel discussion by several faculty members.  The Board was given a tour of the recently completed first phase of the Student Athlete Performance Center in the McKeon Pavilion by Director of Athletics and Recreation Mike Matoso.

As part of the Board’s ongoing efforts to foster greater collaboration with faculty, members of the Academic Senate and the faculty panelists were invited to join Board members during a reception in the newly renovated Cassin Hall, which will soon be the home of a new campus pub, and dinner in the Faculty/Staff Dining Room.  

Meeting Highlights:

  • President James Donahue reflected on the College’s overall progress during the past fiscal year. With the 300-year anniversary of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and celebration of his Lasallian educational legacy in mind, President Donahue discussed his focus for the State of the College address in October, which included his vision for the future, the fiscal health of the institution, progress the College has made on key strategic plan initiatives, opportunities and challenges for SMC, and steps to take to ensure Saint Mary’s can celebrate its own tercentenary of providing a distinctive Lasallian education for SMC students.  

  • In her report to the trustees, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Margaret Kasimatis commented on leadership transitions and current executive search efforts, and provided updates on academic accomplishments, including the College’s productive admission and enrollment strategies and increased marketing initiatives, including targeted outreach to prospective students. Among other highlights, she spoke about innovative academic programming occurring at the College, including SEBA’s new MBA program in Shanghai, a planned Executive DBA, MS in Business Analytics, Executive Women’s Leadership Certificate, and new SOLA MA in Intercultural Communication.

  • Provost Kasimatis facilitated the academic panel discussion “#300LaSalle: Conversation With Faculty About Being Lasallian Educators,” which was comprised of Professors Myrna Santiago and Michael Barram, who gave a joint presentation about the Migrant Lives Border Immersion initiative, a pilot faculty-immersion experience on the U.S.–Mexico border; Professor Cynthia Van Gilder, who talked about her work on student advising and student success at SMC; and Professor Manisha Anantharam, who shared her research on sustainability transitions in urban areas internationally.

  • During the session, the Board also passed several resolutions, including an increase of 3.94 percent in undergraduate tuition, an increase of 1 percent in room and board rates, and a $50 increase in student fees, resulting in an undergraduate comprehensive fee (tuition, fees, room and board rates) of $64,712 for FY 2019–2020. Other resolutions included authorizing approval of the renewal of a $10 million Bank of America revolving line of credit to facilitate occasional cash flow borrowing for operating purposes, and an annual resolution allowing Saint Mary’s president to award all degrees and certificates to candidates who have fulfilled the appropriate requirements during the 2018–2019 academic year.

Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees is the College's governing body, whose fiduciary duties and responsibilities are determined by the College’s bylaws and other governing documents. The Board’s responsibilities include advocating for the College locally, nationally, and internationally; exercising appropriate oversight of the academic quality and fiscal health of the College; approving the annual budget; evaluating and advising the president of the College; and providing financial support, as well as leadership in fundraising, to sustain the College’s mission and progress.