Trustees To Finalize Budget at Meetings This Weekend

The Phillips Academy Board of Trustees will assemble this weekend for discussions chiefly involving the finalization of next year’s budget and the details of the ongoing capital campaign. Oscar Tang ’56, President of the Board of Trustees, said that the Board plans to spend the majority of its time determining the priorities of the capital campaign. Other topics scheduled for discussion include the results of the recent admission cycle, the integration of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology into Phillips Academy curricula and the direction of the school’s outreach programs, according to Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School. At this annual spring meeting, Andover’s Finance Committee will present the Board of Trustees with the full details of the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. In January, when the Trustees last convened, the Board discussed the major constituents of the budget — financial aid, faculty and staff compensation and tuition. In the winter, the Trustees voted to increase tuition for the 2008-2009 academic school year by five percent. This decision raised boarding students’ tuition to $39,100 and day students’ tuition to $30,500. In addition to raising the tuition, the Trustees increased the budgets for faculty and staff compensation. The faculty and staff salary budgets were increased to $18.7 million and $13.6 million, respectively. Smaller components, such as the cost of goods, services, energy and facilities, have now been factored into the frame of the budget since the winter. The Trustees will vote on the all-inclusive budget by the end of the weekend. The Board will also discuss the feasability of fundraising for the capital campaign currently in progress. Amy Falls ’82, Chief Investment Officer, will present an update on the current condition of the endowment. Based on these numbers and the fundraising of the campaign, the Trustees will decide what percent of the $800 million endowment Phillips Academy should withdraw for budget spending. According to Jeton, the Board of Trustees will hold a working session about Andover’s institutional priorities with members of the senior administration, including Barbara Chase, Head of School, Stephen Carter, Chief Financial Officer, and Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty. During this working session, the Trustees and administration will determine how the school will allocate funds garnered from the capital campaign “in terms of sorting through priorities,” said Tang. The Trustees will discuss “the resources that we will need to support the capital campaign and to support those priorities,” Tang continued. “It’s always a balancing act between competing priorities, competing needs. That will be a big discussion item,” said Tang. The campaign is still in its “silent phase”—its campaign remains unnamed and its fundraising goal unannounced. Over this weekend, the Trustees will continue deliberating over campaign goals in order to finalize details by their next meeting in October. Jane Fried, Dean of Admission, and James Ventre, Director of Financial Aid and Admission Operations, will give a present results from this year’s admissions cycle to the Trustees. They will address Phillips Academy’s debut need-blind policy and how this has impacted the demographics of the school. “It’s really to review the first year’s results of having made this decision [to implement need-blind admissions],” said Tang. “We’re going to get more detailed reports later, but I think the preliminary indications have been very successful.” The Task Force on Outreach and Institutional Identity, a group in charge of examining current outreach programs, will report its findings over the course of its 15-month existence. The Task Force examines programs such as PALS, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), (MS)2, Summer Session and Andover Bread Loaf and how they reflect the school’s identity. With the report, the group will make recommendations on how to manage these outreach programs within the context of Phillips Academy’s mission. “[Outreach programs] are all very successful programs, but they have not really been considered integral to the Academy,” said Tang. “The institutional identity part is to understand how these programs really reflect on the Academy.” “[Outreach programs] are leveraging the skills and the capabilities that we have to serve a broader public, and so institutional identity is to fit these programs into what is Andover,” continued Tang. “What the study produced is how they fit into the basic values of the Academy.” Tracy Sweet, Director of Academy Communications, will also hold a meeting with the Trustees on the issue of communicating Andover’s institutional identity. Another discussion item for the Trustees this weekend will be the future of the Andover Inn following its transition to a new management company, Morello Hospitality Group, which occurred this past February. Tang said, “We have a report that analyzes what a reasonable expectation is for the inn as a business, because its current state is not its potential. The report looks at ‘if we did a physical reconstruction of the inn at a certain level, what could we reasonably expect in terms of business?’” Other affairs for the Trustees include voting on strategic planning for the Peabody Museum, which aims to integrate the museum’s collection into the Andover’s educational curricula. Part of this strategic plan involves hiring more educational staff for the Peabody and refurbishment of the building due to physical plant needs. The Trustees arrived yesterday on campus and divided into smaller committee sessions. This morning, the Trustees united as a full board for collective decision-making. Their meetings end on Saturday at noon. The Trustees will hold a dinner on tonight with faculty and the Alumni Council, which is also on campus this weekend. During this dinner, the Trustees will honor the six retiring faculty members and the two retiring Trustees, Louis Elson ’80 and Lucy Danziger ’78.