BORSC February 2022 BOR Meeting Report

The College’s second Board of Regents meeting for the 2021-22 academic year was held over Zoom on February 3rd and 4th. As the Student Observer to the Board, I sat in on most of their sessions. As the president noted in his report to faculty and staff, some Regents have now been on the Board for two years without ever having set foot in a physical boardroom together.

The first day of the meeting began with an Executive Session. Executive sessions are closed to members of the PLT, the Faculty Representatives, and the Student Observer. During this session, the Board elected a new Regent, Craig Dean ‘78.

The first session I attended began with a report on St. Olaf’s current state of affairs. Members of the President’s Leadership Team updated the Board on enrollment, marketing, housing projects, COVID, and wellness. Some Regents inquired about specific regions, such as which countries the College’s international students hail from and why the College saw a decrease in applications from Chicago.

Following this, in the first plenary session, VP for Equity and Inclusion María Pabón Gautier highlighted the College’s recent diversity, equity, and inclusion work. This work includes a particular focus on groups the College is struggling to retain, such as Black women (73% retention rate) and Latinx men (76% retention rate). This presentation was followed by discussion by the Regents, and DEI topics remain a focus of the Board.