trustees Meet to launch campaign

Phillips Academy’s Board of Trustees convenes today to welcome five new trustees and begin talks on the school’s budget and financial policies that will continue into the weekend. The prime focus of the meetings will be the discussion of the allocation of Andover’s resources. The Trustees will receive reports from administrators about the progress of the planned budget reduction of six million dollars. The meetings began Thursday with a combined meeting of the Academy Resources Committee, the Campaign Steering Committee and the Financial Aid Task Force. The discussion touched on methods of fundraising, coinciding with the launch of the Public Phase of Andover’s Capital Campaign. Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School, said, “Due to the financial climate we’ve had to adjust our spending, our form of revenue. The financial model for the school has changed.” She continued, “The campaign helps provide some of the life blood for the programs [on campus]. The Trustees have worked with the faculty and administration to imagine a strategic plan and discuss the direction the direction the school is going. The campaign will fund elements of that plan.” Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School, wrote in an email, “The Trustees continue to watch the fiscal health of the Academy. Recent indicators point to improvement in the economy, but the need to be prudent persists.” Jeton said more task forces might be created to oversee specific aspects of the campaign. She added that those committees, which may include some Trustees, would be formed in the coming two years. Oscar Tang, President of the Board of Trustees, kicked off the week on Wednesday night by inviting selected members of the faculty to a dinner. The new Trustees arrived a day before meetings began to tour the school and receive briefings from senior administrators around campus. Jeton said, “We want[ed] to bring them up to speed on decisions that will be facing the board in the future, about updating facilities, as well as making sure that they [were] oriented since this will be their first meeting with this group.“ On Thursday, the Trustees also honored Donna Brace Ogilvie ’30, an Abbot Academy alumna who is over 100 years old and whose donation helped start the Brace Center for Gender Studies. The meetings will conclude with a luncheon featuring Harvard Dean of Admission William Fitzsimmons on Saturday. Jeton said, “Fitzsimmons will be updating the Trustees on how the college admissions landscape is changing and how Phillips Academy will fit into that. It’s always an interesting topic.” These meetings mark the first in this year’s cycle of three meetings, with one meeting per term. “Typically during the fall, the Trustees receive an update on the state of the Academy and set their agenda for the year,” Jeton said. “In the winter, the Trustees begin a preliminary discussion of the budget, financial aid and tuition for the upcoming academic year. During their spring meeting the Trustees really finalize the budget,” Jeton continued.