Summer Board of Trustees Meeting UpdateEmail 8/13/2018
From: Melik Khoury
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2018 12:10 PM
Subject: Summer Board of Trustees Meeting Update:
Unity College Colleagues,
As is my custom, I’m writing today to share some notes and highlights from the recently concluded board of trustees meetings that took place last week at Unity College: Sky Lodge.
As many of you know firsthand at this point, Unity College: Sky Lodge is a marvelous location and the staff were amazing! It was wonderful to see some of the Unity College: Flagship campus staff working side by side along with them. Board members joked that they will need to exercise extra this week in order to burn off just a few of the delicious and nutritious meals we enjoyed, although they did burn quite a few calories when Adam and Ben from the Nova team led them on a canoe trip on Wood Pond.
Unity College: Sky Lodge and the Moose River Valley proved to be the perfect place for a combination of forward thinking, reflective conversation, and the business of transforming a college during these disruptive times in our industry.
Among other important reflections, there were very thoughtful conversations regarding how the board can continue to match the nimbleness of the enterprise approach. The board and I agree that the current board constituency is excellent, but as we move forward with the enterprise model we will need our board to be increasingly nimble and responsive to the needs of Unity College and serving new audiences (a major lens of the next strategic plan draft).
The Finance Committee shared a new budget model that better reflects the enterprise approach for Unity College and provides more clarity for all SEBUs and shared services. I will be sharing details during professional development in a few weeks and all budget managers will be receiving training and a copy of the new Enterprise Budget Guide. The board has approved a preliminary college-wide budget that includes doubled enrollment for Distance Education; a Unity College: Sky Lodge budget that works toward revenue-neutrality in three years; and a Flagship full-time paid enrollment model for fall of 690. As always, after census day, the budget will be refined to adjust for unexpected windfalls or shortfalls.
The heart of the work this past week centered on development planning for the new strategic plan that we expect to finalize by next May. To be clear, we expect to have the plan ready for execution by May – not every item completed! Along with substantial conversations regarding vision, approach, and a goals framework, the board endorsed my approach to our strategic plan development and communication plan. I will need your input throughout the year and spend significant time at the upcoming professional development sessions to begin opportunities for input and information sharing regarding a next iterative strategic plan for Unity College.
On Friday, board members and those present from the College shared recent conversations with national experts, including the Association of Governing Boards, NEASC, and national leaders in college leadership. Not only are we getting very good reviews of our enterprise approach and efforts to align our documentation and policy with it, but board members were very excited to share their experiences receiving the Nason Award for board leadership at the most recent AGB national meeting. Student representative Den Suehiro shared his appreciation for our involvement of students in information and feedback opportunities.
All-in-all, the meeting was a powerful opportunity for board members to engage with each other and members of the senior leadership team. Board members expressed appreciation for the time for reflection as well as forward-looking dialogue. To a person, everyone expressed much gratitude for the addition of Unity College: Sky Lodge to the Unity College portfolio of properties – most importantly, for the possibilities it provides for authentic learning and student engagement.
I look forward to sharing much more detail and stories at the upcoming professional development sessions during opening of school and beyond.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
“Skill can be taught; loyalty can be garnered, confidence can be instilled; but attitude & integrity are inherent! So teach skill, garner loyalty; instill confidence; but never compromise on attitude & integrity.”
“Integrity, by its very existence, rekindles the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; as a cynical community is a corrupt community.” John Gardner